Super coverage of the big game at Cowboys Stadium

NFL Throws Cowboys Under Bus in Seating Debacle

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Some of the 400 temporary seats that were not used at the Super Bowl.

    An NFL executive said Thursday that the Cowboys hired the contractor that installed the temporary seating for the Super Bowl.

    While the team hosting the Super Bowl generally turns their stadium over to the NFL, that apparently wasn't quite the case last week.

    NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman told Pro Football Talk that the Cowboys were involved in hiring the contractor.

    He said the Cowboys brought in another contractor after the original contractor ran into "challenges," and the NFL thought the installation would be finished in time.

    He said the NFL thought the seats would be ready until "a certain time Sunday morning." Grubman said he was aware by Thursday that there were some issues with the temporary seating.

    Grubman also said it was too early to tell if the seating debacle happened because of something the NFL did, something the Cowboys did or something the contractor did.

    However, the NFL will look "pretty hard" at the seating configurations if it holds another NFL event at Cowboys Stadium, he said.

    The seating headache has already spawned at least two lawsuits. Two Packers fans filed suit against the NFL, the Cowboys and the stadium alleging fraud, breach of contract and negligence; and a class-action suit filed against the league, the Cowboys and Jones alleges breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices.

    NFL extends olive branch to 2,000 delayed fans

    The NFL said Thursday that about 2,000 in temporary seats at the Super Bowl will receive a face-value ticket refund or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl.

    It is the latest plan to appease fans who were significantly delayed in gaining pre-game access to their seats because of unsafe conditions for temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium.

    The plan is separate from the one announced Tuesday by Commissioner Roger Goodell for the 400 fans who were denied seats all together. Those fans were taken to standing-room-only areas or spots without a view of the field.

    The 400 displaced fans have been offered a choice of a $2,400 payment and free ticket to next year's Super Bowl, or a free ticket to any Super Bowl, plus round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.

    NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday that 40 employees have been assigned to help identify and assist fans who were left without seats. He said 260 of the ticketholders have either been located or have called the league. Some have shown up at the league's New York office.

    Goodell has initiated a complete review of the matter, including all seating and stadium entrance issues. There were 13,000 temporary seats installed at Cowboys Stadium. The Arlington fire marshal inspected and cleared for use 11,740 of those seats.

    Granddaughter of Packers' first president among "Seatless 400"

    A granddaughter of the first president of the Green Bay Packers was among the 400 ticketholders forced out of the stands at the Super Bowl because their seats weren't safe.

    In a letter sent to the NFL, which she provided to The Associated Press, Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should never be allowed to host another Super Bowl. She called her experience at Cowboys Stadium a "total disaster."

    Beisel-McIlwaine, 55, wrote that it took several hours -- and miles of walking -- before stadium and league officials finally led her and other displaced fans from their upper deck seats to a field level bar area behind the Pittsburgh Steelers bench -- with no view of the field.

    Her grandfather was Andrew Blair Turnbull, the Packers' first president and a member of the team's Hall of Fame. Her father was Daniel C. Beisel, a Packers' board member from 1968 until his death in 2009.