Super Bowl XLV: Why One 400-Ticket Mishap Shines Way Above the Others

Todd DragerContributor IFebruary 7, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  A Green Bay Packers fan holds up a sign after winning Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Okay guys, lay off Christina Aguilera. I mean, she got most of the words right, didn’t she

Getting the words wrong to our National Anthem during the most watched television program of all time (Yeah, new record set again) is one of the more hilarious slash tragic events we’ve seen in American sports lately. This surprisingly, was not the biggest mishap of the Super Bowl, though.

And yes, there were plenty to choose from. There was that Christina Aguilera nonsense, falling snow injuries, and the halftime peas debacle.

All were outdone by this though: 400 ticket holders for the Super Bowl were left without a seat and forced (not by gunpoint) to watch the game from television monitors around the stadium.



Basically, those affected had one of the most miserable days imaginable for a football fan. They show up to the gates on Super Bowl Sunday and their tickets aren’t scanning.

This happened to 1,250 people (over 1% of the total attendance), and occurred due to construction complications with temporary seats added for the game. Well, the seats weren’t completed by game time, and thus deemed unsafe by the fire marshal.

Arrangements were made for 850 of the stranded guests, but 400 were left out in the cold, only to watch the game from a TV.

The NFL stepped in and gave away some field passes and merchandise and has promised triple the refund for the invalid tickets plus a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

This is a good PR move for the League as it shows their willingness to make things right with the fans, and is especially important with a potential lockout looming.

It’s really the only move the League has at this point, and a tough move at that (can you imagine trying to track down all the people that bought scalped tickets or from a ticket exchange site).

However, is this move good enough? Would it be good enough for you?



I'm an Eagles fan, so I thought about this scenario. Mike Vick completes that late pass, and the Eagles beat the Packers in Wildcard Weekend. They end up winning out through the NFC Conference and make a Super Bowl berth.

Overwhelmed with excitement and joy, and with a bit of an itchy trigger finger, I check out the overpriced tickets on Stubhub or some other ticket exchange site, and on a whim buy them.

I take an overpriced flight down to Dallas and find an overpriced hotel to stay at. I eat overpriced food and drink overpriced drinks for a day or two before the big game. Maybe I get hit with snowfall from the roof, who knows.

But then Sunday comes and I head to the stadium, and when I arrive at the turnstiles I'm told that my tickets are invalid because Jerry Jones tried to cram a few too many people in this year. Not only am I broke right now, but I'm broken hearted also.

Say the Eagles go on to win the Super Bowl, and I'm at a bar watching it instead of being in a seat and cheering them on in person. Is triple the refund worth the agony of having to experience a Super Bowl that almost was?

Is a ticket to next years’ Super Bowl enough to tarnish the memory of going to Dallas only to watch the Super Bowl on TV?

There’s only a slim chance the Eagles would even be back in the Super Bowl the following year, so I'd be going to watch another team compete instead of having the memory of being at the FIRST Super Bowl victory for my franchise.

I know the NFL is doing all they can, but would anything ever be enough?

Written By Todd Drager and republished with permission from