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Thursday, February 10, 2011
NFL exec on seatgate: 'We screwed it up'

By Calvin Watkins

Seatgate will not go away anytime soon with the class action lawsuit being filed against the league and Jerry Jones. At this stage it's hard to find out who messed this up: The Cowboys, the NFL or the people putting the seats in.

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman, in an interview with ESPN 970 AM in Pittsburgh, said it best regarding how angry the fans were about the situation: "It was awful. We made the best of it. We screwed it up. I can’t change that. I’m a football fan and, before I worked at the Super Bowl, I took my young sons and my father ... to see the New York Giants, and if that would have happened to me, I would be furious."

The NFL knew about the seating problem days before kickoff but still couldn't get the seats fixed in time. Grubman said it's nearly impossible to get the temporary seats inspected until they're completed. Still, 400 fans didn't get to see the Super Bowl the way they wanted and that's a problem.

"It’s a construction project when you put up these stands, these temporary stands," Grubman said. "You put up the outside of the building and then you’ve got to finish it and there’s a lot of detail work. And you can’t get the inspections until you do the finished detail work. And we just didn’t get that done. Literally, an hour before the game, we thought we were going to have all the seats, and we just didn’t get it done."

The big question concerning all this regards North Texas and whether or not the region will get another chance to host a Super Bowl. The next three Super Bowl sites have been decided and North Texas would like to host Super Bowl L.

"It was a regional approach to the Super Bowl, and they did a great job and were great hosts," he said. "I tell you, I would go back there again. … I don’t think they took themselves out of the running. Do we plan it better next time? You betcha."