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400 fans jilted out of Super Bowl seats

BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Modified: February 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm •  Published: February 6, 2011
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Ray Summeier of Indianapolis has seen every one of his hometown Colts' games this season — home and away, and his grand finale was a trip to Sunday's Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.

When Summeier moved through security Sunday afternoon, the scanner rejected his ticket.

“I asked the person, ‘Do I have a bad ticket?'” Summeier told The Oklahoman. “They told me, ‘No, you have a bad seat.'”

Summeier was one of about 1,250 fans whose seats, which were in temporary sections, were victim of “incomplete installation,” which, according to an NFL statement, “made the seats unusable.”

Some of the sections were not completed and, “condemned by the fire marshal,” said Mark Visconti of Pittsburgh. Visconti was one of a large number of fans relegated to the Miller Lite Club on the field level, which is located behind the Steelers' bench but has no view of the field. The affected fans weren't allowed onto the field.

Approximately 850 fans in four of the affected sections were relocated to other seats, but about 400 in sections 425A and 430A “were not able to be accommodated with seats inside the stadium,” according to an NFL statement.

Summeier, Visconti and others were escorted outside the stadium, where they were told the matter would be resolved.

After confusing directions from NFL staff, fans were handed letters, with no NFL or Super Bowl letterhead, attempting to explain the error.

“Please be advised that due to unforeseen conditions, the installation of temporary seating for Super Bowl XLV was not fully completed and your assigned seat is unavailable for today's game. The NFL and Cowboys Stadium sincerely regret this inconvenience,” the letter said.

The letter went on to say that those affected would be given a refund three times the face value ($800) of each ticket that was affected. It then said those affected could watch the game in a hospitality area.

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