In an interview with Pro Football Talk, Eric Grubman, the NFL's executive vice president, noted the firm the Cowboys hired to install the temporary seating, Seating Solutions from Commack, N.Y., walked off the job for an unspecified reason.
Officials from Seating Solutions declined comment.
The Cowboys hired Manhattan Construction to finish the job but it failed to do so by kickoff.
“We thought we were going to get them all,” Grubman said to Pro Football Talk. “We had some challenges, the Cowboys bought another contractor in, and we just thought that we were going to get it done. We didn’t spend a lot of time, talking about whether we were going to let people know earlier in the week because of that, but as I think about it now, I’m not sure that would have done any good. Imagine the chaos, if we would have announced that we’re not sure what seats we have, but we might have all of them.”
Seating Solutions has installed temporary seating for the NBA All-Star game at Cowboys Stadium last year and has done so at Yankee Stadium and various other events. The company has also been used for events involving television networks including ESPN.
Normally the NFL takes over stadiums to begin Super Bowl preparations, and in this case it was Jan. 8, when the league took over. Grubman said the Cowboys remained in the process.
“Well, it’s accurate to say in this instance,” he said to Pro Football Talk. “I won’t deal with what happened in the other 44 Super Bowls because I am sure there is a lot of particulars in any one Super Bowl, but the fact that the Cowboys were involved in hiring the contractor to install the seats and that is just the specifics of how we and the Cowboys decided to do it this time around.”
Cowboys officials have declined comment other than to say they apologized for what happened with the seating problems.
On Thursday afternoon, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said approximately 2,000 fans in the temporary seating section will receive a choice of either a refund of the face-value of their ticket or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl game of their choice.
This is a separate deal from the one announced on Tuesday when 400 fans were told they can receive one free ticket to next year’s Super Bowl, a cash payment of $2,400 or one free ticket to any Super Bowl game plus roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations.