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NFL increases offer to fans in seat flap

| Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011

DALLAS — The NFL upped the ante again Tuesday for the 400 fans displaced by problems with temporary seats at the Super Bowl.

Spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league e-mailed all the fans to offer either $5,000 or reimbursement for "actual documented" Super Bowl expenses, whichever figure is higher.

The latest offer is the third and most valuable option for fans who had tickets but no seats in Cowboys Stadium for Green Bay's 31-25 victory against the Steelers on Feb. 6.

The NFL decided to extend another offer after commissioner Roger Goodell talked to fans over the past week, McCarthy said in an e-mail.

The first offer was for $2,400 — three times the face value of the affected seats — and a ticket to next year's Super Bowl. The league soon added a second option of a ticket to any future Super Bowl plus airfare and hotel costs.

"As you may know, we have been reaching out directly to those fans who regrettably and inexcusably were unable to watch Super Bowl XLV from a seat in Cowboys Stadium," the e-mail to fans stated. "In listening to your feedback, we have decided to offer a third option."

The seating issue has sparked at least two lawsuits against the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys, and the lead attorney for one of the suits was unswayed by yesterday's move. Attorney Michael Avenatti said the NFL still isn't offering reimbursement for all Super Bowl expenses or addressing fans who were delayed or relocated to "substandard" seats.

"The NFL and its lawyers need to come clean with the fans as to their right to full compensation and sit down with us to fairly resolve this matter," Avenatti said.

About 1,250 seats were declared unsafe hours before the Super Bowl, and the NFL scrambled to find new seats for about 850 fans. The remaining 400 were forced to watch from standing-room areas or on TV from places with no view of the field.

Documents released after the game show that the Cowboys were slow to respond to requests for building permits needed to install the seats and indicated that a contractor walked out on the job in the days before the game.

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