Sunday, February 6, 2011
Super Bowl attendance comes up short
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ice, snow, a taxi strike and stadium seating issues dominated the headlines leading up to Super Bowl XLV.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was hoping for some good news in the form of a Super Bowl attendance record Sunday night, but he'll have to settle for second place.
A total of 103,219 crammed into Cowboys Stadium to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, missing the record by 766.
The construction of some temporary seating was not completed in time for the game, resulting in the relocation of 850 fans and refunds for 400 who could not be reseated in the stadium.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the seats lost just hours before the game were the reason the record wasn't set.
Sunday's total is the second largest for a Super Bowl and second largest for an NFL game in Cowboys Stadium, which opened in 2009.
Sunday's attendance included 91,060 fans -- including 3,000 who bought tickets to watch the game on HD screens outside the stadium -- and 12,159 credentialed personnel (league and team officials and media).
The previous record of 103,985 came at Super Bowl XIV between the Steelers and Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 20, 1980, at the Rose Bowl.
The largest crowd for any NFL game was when the Dallas Cowboys played the Houston Oilers in front of 112,376 fans in a preseason game in 1994 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Jones was hopeful his $1.2 billion jewel of a stadium would set the all-time attendance record. Jones and the NFL filled the end zone open areas, normally sold as standing-room only tickets, with bleachers.