February 07, 2011
The 1,200 displaced fans at Super Bowl XLV contributed to Cowboys Stadium's failure to set a Super Bowl attendance record, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy admitted on Monday.
A total of 103,219 people packed Jerry Jones' $1.3 billion mega-stadium on Sunday night, 766 fewer than at the 1980 Super Bowl held at the Rose Bowl. Jones had spoken numerous times about his desire to break that record and went to great lengths to ensure that his stadium would set the mark. The Cowboys erected temporary seating high in the end zones and in standing room areas, and also created an outdoor party plaza that's main purpose was to drive up the attendance numbers.
In the end, it wasn't enough. McCarthy told ESPN Dallas that the seats not being completed in time for the game were the reason for the failure to break the mark.
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A total of 88,060 purchased tickets inside the stadium, while 3,000 more watched on video monitors at the outdoor party plaza. The rest of the total comes from the 12,159 credentialed personnel (league and team officials, media, workers).
Who knew that attendance totals included cameramen, fry cooks, writers and Slash? I can't figure out which makes less sense: counting people who stood outside or counting people who are paid to attend the game.
All Jerry Jones wanted was that attendance record. The headaches he and the Cowboys dealt with this week, from the wintry weather to the ice-related injuries to the seating embarrassment, would have been worth it if the attendance had come in one person higher than Pasadena. It was a silly goal -- before Jones brought it up, when was the last time you heard about a Super Bowl attendance record? -- and one that certainly didn't deserve as much pregame attention as was bestowed on it.
But now that Jones and the Cowboys fell short, it's fair to call them out. They set a goal, made questionable decisions to attain it and then failed at the last minute. Instead of ensuring a positive game experience for the people they could accomodate, the Cowboys tried to pack in as many people as possible to set a record nobody outside the Jones family cares about.
They failed. On the bright side, at least the scoreboard looked good.
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