Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 8, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Local couple experiences Super Bowl seat fiasco
An Edmonton couple is one of more than a thousand fans whose Super Bowl experience was ruined because of unsafe seats.
Daryl and Brittney Tancowny flew down to Dallas to attend the 45th annual Super Bowl as part of Daryl’s special birthday weekend celebration.
“I was so excited,” Daryl told Global Edmonton on Tuesday. “It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time.”
But what was meant to be an unforgettable football experience for the two “die-hard” football fans quickly turned into a nightmare.
“We get up to our seats and there are construction tape, police and stadium people saying the bleachers aren’t safe,” Daryl said.
The couple was escorted from ticket gate to ticket gate, with no one able to tell them what to do.
After two hours of walking back and forth across Cowboys Stadium, Daryl and Brittney were taken outside where a large group of people in the same seat predicament as them had also been led.
“Everybody is pushing and yelling and wanting in,” Brittney said. “It was quite a scary moment because at one point I was pushed towards a fence and people were yelling, saying ‘NFL sucks’, chanting.”
Two hours after that the couple was finally let back into the stadium and told they could return to their seats.
But after talking to several locals, they discovered the area their seats were located in wasn’t normally meant as a seating area. Seats had been placed there in an attempt to set the record for the largest crowd in Super Bowl history.
“We were told by locals the area was a standing platform. They (the NFL) put bleachers in this area,” Daryl said.
“I’ve always wanted to go to a Super Bowl and to find out the seats we won from the NFL and paid face value for were actually temporary seats that in any other game wouldnt even exist there, was very disheartening.”
The couple — exhausted from their ordeal — was able to watch most of the game and were even given letters saying they would be refunded the money they paid for their tickets.
However it’s the dream football weekend they’d been waiting for for years, that they want more than anything else.
“The NFL owes us that Super Bowl experience,” Daryl said.
They say it was especially disappointing because it would have been the couple’s first trip together since Brittney had been diagnosed with leukemia last year.
She had been in remission for the last 10 months.
“Throughout the whole game my heart was broken because Britt was so wiped out,” Daryl said.
About 1,250 fans were displaced during Sunday’s game because of unsafe seating in the stadium.
Some like the Tancowny’s were offered ticket refunds while others were offered free tickets to next year’s Super Bowl.