NFL accused of backing away from Super Bowl ticket offer

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 3 at 2:36 AM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

The NFL, already scrambling to shake bad publicity over the Super Bowl seating scandal, may be in even more hot water.

News 8 has learned that league officials have apparently backed off on a promise made to displaced fans on Super Sunday.

In what may be the most memorable highlight from Super Bowl XLV, an estimated 2,400 fans were furious over being told their temporary seats were unsafe — just prior to game time.

Two-thousand of them were moved elsewhere inside the stadium to watch the game; 400 were moved outside to watch on big-screen monitors.

All were inconvenienced to some degree, and the NFL had vowed to make it right.

At game time, inconvenienced fans were given a letter promising them "a refund equal to three time the face value of each ticket."

But now, four weeks later, the offer has changed for most of the fans.

For the 2,000 who were allowed to watch the game inside the stadium, the offer has been revised.

According to a settlement package sent to ticketholders on Monday, they can either receive a check for the face value of their ticket or a free ticket to any future Super Bowl game.

"It seems to me the NFL is saying, 'That's just kind of what happens, sometimes... we're sorry, here's your face value,'" said Plano ticket broker Steve Parry of Golden Tickets.

Just prior to kickoff, Parry exchanged tickets for his customers who had been kicked out of their seats. Now he's stuck with the bad tickets — and the downgraded offer from the NFL.

He suspects other fans are as unhappy as he.

"The deal that they are making, offering up a ticket for next year or cash for this year — face value — is, in my opinion, clearly not doing what everybody I know would call 'the right thing'," Parry said.

The NFL admits the current offer differs from what many were told on game day.

"We are reviewing each situation and would welcome the opportunity to talk further with upset fans," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The league's position may finally shift the memories of Super Bowl XLV from images depicting upset fans outside of the stadium to actual highlights of the game.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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