February 15, 2011
The NFL's ongoing edition of "Let's Make a Deal" continued on Tuesday when the league upped its offer to the 400 ticket holders who were left without seats to last week's Super Bowl.
The newest proposal offers fans "greater of $5,000 or your actual substantiated expenses in defined categories for attending Super Bowl XLV." It's the most lucrative offer yet from the league and comes six days after some fans filed a lawsuit seeking up to $5 million in damages for the fiasco at Cowboys Stadium.
Affected fans were first offered $2,400 and tickets to next year's Super Bowl for their troubles. When those terms were deemed unfit, the league offered a second option which would have given fans a ticket to a future Super Bowl of their choice and paid for airfare and accommodations. The subsequent lawsuit tells you all you need to know about how that offer went over with fans.
The initial offer would have cost the NFL $1 million. The new proposal adds $1 million on top of that, for a total of $2 million. That's a good chunk of change but is couch-cushion money for a league that made around $4 billion last season in television contracts alone. Given all the negative publicity surrounding this story, was it really worth it for the NFL to play Scrooge over a million dollars? If this new offer was made at the outset and sweetened with some signed memorabilia from the game, it's doubtful this story would still be in the news. Instead, the league lowballed fans and have taken a beating for it in the press.
If this is the way the league is going to negotiate the labor deal, it could be a long, long lockout.
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