Dean Kepraios’s $3,500 ticket didn’t get him into his seat at the Super Bowl last year. After a refund and being invited to this year’s title game by the National Football League, he’s not complaining.
Kepraios, a 39-year-old human resources consultant from Chicago, was among the 2,800 fans kept from their assigned seats at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the 2011 Super Bowl when safety inspectors refused to allow some temporary locations to be used.
The NFL found a place for him at last year’s game by the end of the first quarter, his ticket broker gave him his money back, and he will be among the 246 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 to watch the New York Giants play the New England Patriots as part of the NFL’s effort to correct the mistakes of last year.
“It was worth it,” Kepraios said in an interview. “It all worked out. We were made whole.”
The people who were delayed getting into last year’s title game, won by the Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers, or were moved were given the option of taking the face value of the ticket or a pass to any future Super Bowl, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.
The NFL offered about 475 people who weren’t able to be seated $2,400 -- triple the face value of the tickets -- plus one free ticket to this year’s Super Bowl, or one to any future championship game. They also would get airfare and four nights lodging, a check for $5,000 or a check for more than that if they can provide documented expenses, McCarthy said in an e-mail.
This year, the NFL installed 254 temporary seats at Lucas Oil Stadium, bringing capacity for the game to about 68,000, McCarthy said. The league isn’t concerned about a similar problem recurring this year.
Improving the Game
“We spend every off-season looking at how we can make the Super Bowl better,” he said.
Jan Lamers, 53, a Packers shareholder from Appleton, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview that she and her family decided not to attend this year’s game after Eli Manning’s Giants beat the Packers 37-20 in the second round of the playoffs. She said she will wait and hope her team will reach the title game next year, when it will be in New Orleans.
For Kepraios, a Chicago Bears fan, that wasn’t a factor. His team lost to the Packers in the playoffs last season and didn’t make the postseason this year. Rather, it’s because the game is a three-hour drive from Chicago.
“Indianapolis is close enough,” he said.