Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

NFL Owes 7 Fans $76K for Super Bowl Seat Snafu

A Texas jury has awarded seven fans about $76,000 for botched seating arrangements at the 2011 Super Bowl. The jury found the NFL breached its ticket contract with fans because of unavailable temporary seating at Dallas Cowboy Stadium.

The fans did not win on their fraud claims against the NFL, but will still receive awards ranging from $5,700 to $22,000 each.

Seat Shift

Cowboys stadium was two years old when it hosted the 2011 Super Bowl, but still didn't have its act together in time. About 1,200 temporary seats had to be sidelined because of safety reasons, meaning fans who bought those seats had to be moved elsewhere in the stadium.

Many of those ticket holders were treated to folding chairs with obstructed views, while about 400 fans didn't get seats at all. Some of those fans filed a lawsuit against the NFL for breach of contract, fraud, and deceptive trade practices.

The Cowboys and the NFL failed in their attempt to get the lawsuit tossed out of court, and the damage award could increase -- the seating contractor will be re-deposed following allegations that the NFL influenced his testimony. Reuters reports that the NFL's attorneys were satisfied that the ruling "affirmed that the NFL did not defraud any of its fans," but at this time it is unclear if they will appeal the award.

Problems the Size of Texas

Missing seats weren't the only issue Super Bowl fans encountered at Cowboys Stadium. Many fans were busy dodging ice chunks falling from the stadium's roof, not all of them successful.

Another fan had an opposite weather-related issue when she suffered severe burns to her butt on a bench outside the stadium the following summer.

Both stadium injuries resulted in lawsuits against "Jerry's World" -- so named for the Cowboys' owner who, when he's not being sued by ex-strippers, is taking pictures with them.

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