ARLINGTON - The big news at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium last week was the awarding of the 2014 men's basketball Final Four.
While all eyes were on college basketball, NFL officials were in Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington to scout sites for Super Bowl XLV events, said host committee president Bill Lively.
"They are beginning pilgrimages to begin to look at venues," he said. "They are looking to see where they are going to put the NFL Experience and headquarters hotel."
The Dallas Convention Center is thought to be the only indoor site large enough for the NFL Experience, a football-themed museum and carnival. It's usually outdoors in warm-weather areas, such as Arizona and Florida.
The competitors for the NFL headquarters are the Sheraton, the Hilton Anatole, the Hyatt Regency, all in Dallas, and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.
While planning for the 2011 Super Bowl continues, some optimistic brokers are already peddling tickets for that game.
Austin-based TicketCity is offering on its Web site as many as 10 upper-deck end zone seats that can be reserved for $3,350 each. That drew a big chuckle from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
"No tickets have been printed, let alone distributed," he said.
Zach Anderson, vice president for marketing at TicketCity, said this is standard practice among ticket brokers. He said his company has been in business for 20 years and has an extensive network of suppliers.
Although Mr. Anderson said he couldn't guarantee specific sections for Super Bowl XLV, he's confident TicketCity will be able to get tickets in the areas advertised. He said the prices are likely to fluctuate during the next two years.
TicketCity received negative publicity this year when the Texas attorney general sued the company for alleged deceptive trade practice.
The lawsuit said the company tried to sell tickets to this summer's opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics even though the firm didn't have the tickets. The company also failed to live up to its 200 percent refund if it couldn't get the tickets, according to the lawsuit.
Mr. Anderson said he couldn't comment about the lawsuit but said he hoped it would be cleared up soon. He told The New York Times in July - before the lawsuit was filed - that the tickets might have been listed on his site by a supplier, and that would have been a mistake. He told The Times that TicketCity wasn't trying to sell tickets to the opening ceremonies.
Last week, workers started installing translucent panels on the west side of the stadium roof. The material is thick enough to keep out rain, but it also allows natural light to filter into the stadium. The team is about to start the above ground work on the west end zone plaza, which will include decorative paving and landscaping.