SBD/February 7, 2011/Events and Attractions

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  • Cowboys Stadium Seating Debacle Leaves 400 Fans Without Seats For Super Bowl

    Stadium workers blocked off, covered empty temporary seating sections

    Four hundred fans with tickets to Super Bowl XLV last night "were left without seats" after a "limited number of sections in temporary seating areas at Cowboys Stadium were not completed in time," according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN DALLAS. Two hours before the game, workers "were frantically trying to fix the sections or get the fans 'relocated to similar or better seats,' valued at $800." Stadium workers "were covering the top corner sections of the upper deck behind one end zone two hours prior to kickoff." The NFL "found alternate seating for 850 of the 1,250 fans affected," and the 400 who were not able to be seated "were given a refund of triple face value -- $2,400." The NFL "tried to placate those 400 fans, taking them inside the stadium to watch the game on monitors in the North Field Club behind the Pittsburgh bench." The fans also "had the option of viewing the game from standing-room platforms in each corner of the stadium." Those fans "will still get the triple refund." McMahon reported the game drew 103,219 fans, "just shy of the 103,985 mark set in Super Bowl XIV." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy confirmed that the "seating debacle was the reason the attendance record was not set ... based on the 850 seats that were forfeited by the NFL and Cowboys to make room for those who were relocated." Meanwhile, four gates into the stadium were closed "because of lingering ice on the roof of the stadium." The Arlington Police Department "requested additional officers to the East Plaza ticket offices after the crowd started to become unruly" prior to the game, as "ticket scanners weren't functioning." There were chants of "Jerry Sucks!" and "NFL Sucks!" (, 2/6).

    In Ft. Worth, Ahles & Schrock note it was "not immediately clear who was to blame," and the NFL promised to "conduct a full review of this matter." North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO Bill Lively said that the problem "unfolded over a month and evolved into late-night discussions Saturday, less than 24 hours before kickoff." Hundreds of ticket holders in Sections 425A-430A "were told that their seats were not available and that they would have to settle for a refund." Temporary sections "above the west end zone and along the main concourse were blocked off, the seats covered with black sheeting," and "in other areas, metal handrails were loose." Two temporary staircases leading to sections 425A and 430A "were roped off." Tom Pingel, a fan who was left without a seat, said, "You'd think the fire marshal would have made this determination before today" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7). A police officer near one of the roped-off areas said that the seats "had been installed in six temporary sections, but they went up so late that the fire marshal didn't have time to inspect them." The officer said that the "winter storms that struck Dallas earlier had set back work on the temporary seats." The AP's Aron, Hawkins & Daley noted organizers "were hoping flawless game-day logistics would wipe out some of the complaints" about the weather earlier in the week, but the seating problem "could be an issue in the area's plans to bid for" Super Bowl L in '16 (AP, 2/6).

    FIRE MARSHALL HAD "NO ROLE": Arlington Police spokesperson Tiara Richard said that the "city's fire marshal 'played no role' in deciding that the unfinished seats would not be used because the NFL never asked the city to inspect those." Richard: "That was all the NFL's call. The fire marshal had no participation in the seats that were not completed. The fire marshal only inspected the seats that were completed." In Dallas, Scott Farwell reports an "undisclosed number of Cowboys employees gave up their seats" to some of the paying fans who did not have a place to sit (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). In N.Y., Cannizzaro & Li report NFL officials "promised that the displaced 400 would be supplied with free food, soft drinks and merchandise in addition to getting triple their money back." But "at least five of the fans" said that they "were never told of any potential goodies" (N.Y. POST, 2/7). Matthew Rush, another fan among those left without a seat, said that they "were herded like Texas cattle from Cowboys Stadium to the neighboring Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and back before they were finally allowed inside the gate." Rush noted that a website,, "has already been started and [a] class action suit would soon follow" (Dan Graziano,, 2/6).

    GOODELL SPEAKS ON SITUATION: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today addressed the situation, saying, "We had an issue yesterday with several seats for our fans. It's something that we have been taking very seriously working at it. We apologize to those fans that were impacted by this. We are going to work with them and we are going to do better in the future. We will certainly do a thorough review and get to the bottom of why it all occurred, but we take full responsibility for that as putting on this game. But the one thing we will never do is compromise safety: Safety of our fans, safety of our players, anybody involved with our event." Goodell: "We had, obviously, a lot of challenges this week. There were a lot of things we were trying to deal with. But, there is no excuse. When you put on an event like this, you know you are going to have those challenges" (THE DAILY).’s Peter King writes, “There is no excuse, and never can be one, when you sell tickets for seats that are not valid.” King: “The league needs to be quick about this investigation, find out who dropped the ball, and do more than give the fans who got jobbed three times the value of their ticket.” Goodell today announced the fans “will attend next year's Super Bowl as guests of the NFL.” King: “That's a good gesture, but if I'm that Steeler fan from Erie I read about last night, and I'm getting an all-expenses-paid trip to Indianapolis to see Atlanta-San Diego ... I mean, I'm still not happy” (, 2/7).

    FALLING SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS: ESPN DALLAS' Todd Archer noted the announced attendance of 103,219 "wasn't even the biggest football crowd in Cowboys Stadium history." That mark is 105,121 for the inaugural regular-season game at the stadium, Giants-Cowboys in '09. The Super Bowl also "did not sniff the NBA All-Star Game, which drew 108,713 last year at Cowboys Stadium." The official breakdown of the attendance showed 91,060 fans "in the stadium and the outdoor plaza area and 12,159 credentialed workers" (, 2/6). In Dallas, Brad Townsend notes the Super Bowl attendance "wound up No. 4 on the all-time list, behind two other Rose Bowl crowds" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). NFL Exec VP/Business Operations Eric Grubman said, "The attendance record was not the goal. The goal was to use this great building in a way that showcased the NFL, showcased North Texas and showcased some great players that we have in the NFL. And if we can come up with a better installation plan for a future event, we’ll do that” (THE DAILY).

    Ticket snafu could hurt future
    Dallas bids to host Super Bowl
    DON'T START PLANNING RETURN TO DALLAS:'s Don Banks writes, "The NFL may well again play another Super Bowl here some day, but I wouldn't advise Jerry Jones to call Roger Goodell first thing on Monday to get back in line for another Super Bowl for his home ballpark. I'd give it a little time. Say three years or so, just to let Sunday's pregame seating debacle simmer down." It was an "embarrassing and very un-NFL-like gaffe for a league that usually runs the Super Bowl like a well-oiled machine" (, 2/7). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes, "This, in the lexicon of present slang, is an epic fail. ... This is an abomination." It "doesn't matter that the NFL was able to accommodate most of the affected fans, that after an enormous backlash they found places to squeeze them." This was the "endgame to a week-long fiasco that should prevent Dallas from ever even getting a sniff of the Super Bowl again" (N.Y. POST, 2/7). But in Dallas, Kevin Sherrington writes, "Even with awful weather and canceled events and screw-ups on game day that, incredibly, left 400 fans without their $900 seats, the Super Bowl will come back. NFL owners aren't too concerned about bad publicity. They're eager enough to force a lockout" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7).

    ROUGH WEEK: In N.Y., Branch & Schwartz write it was "something of a tragicomic coda to a week of logistical nightmares and missteps that vexed organizers and Jones." Snow, ice and "subfreezing temperatures forced hundreds of flight cancellations, made travel in the sprawling metropolitan area nearly impossible at times, and muted much of the week's festivities" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/7). Also in N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano writes things "went from bad to worse when ice chunks fell from the stadium" Friday, "injuring six people." The ice danger "forced officials to close four stadium entrances before the game, spawning long lines that forced some fans to wait two hours just to get inside" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/7). In Dallas, Steve Blow writes, "Are there Super Bowl do-overs? We might ask for one. Nothing about our Super Bowl Week played out as anyone had imagined -- except maybe in some worst-case-scenario planning sessions" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Reed Albergotti writes the "combination of problems may have dented the Cowboys' hopes of hosting another Super Bowl in 2016" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/7). In Houston, Ken Hoffman writes under the header, "This Super Bowl Earns A Grade Of Big D" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/7). Meanwhile, in Ft. Worth, John Henry reported rainfall in the second half of the game "exposed two apparent leaks in the roof of Cowboys Stadium." The leaks "did not pose a hazard for spectators" (, 2/6).

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  • Will Winter Weather Hurt North Texas' Bid To Land A Future Super Bowl?

    Goodell says weather will not have an impact on Super Bowl bidding

    North Texas has already announced plans to bid for Super Bowl L in '16, but the "ice, snow and frigid weather during the last week led to questions about whether North Texas would be considered for another Super Bowl, especially one so important to the NFL as its 50th anniversary game," according to Jeff Mosier of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. North Texas "probably will face stiff competition for Super Bowl L," as it is the "golden anniversary game and a huge milestone for the NFL." But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Friday said that the weather "wouldn't make a difference in future bids." Mosier noted NFL owners "vote on Super Bowl host cities, and Cowboys Stadium is an attractive venue because of its large seating capacity and state-of-the-art technology." North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee President & CEO Bill Lively said that "officials will start looking toward 2016 … as soon as the lights are turned off at the stadium after Sunday's game" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/6). In Ft. Worth, Randy Galloway wrote "no doubt the weather this time will hurt" Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones' efforts to land Super Bowl L, "but the one hammer this area continues to have is Jerry's jewel in Arlington." Galloway: "Hold tight, but it's about generating the money for the NFL when it comes to where a Super Bowl will be held. Jerry has the No. 1 cha-ching palace in the country" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/6). In N.Y., Schwartz & Cannizzaro wrote Jones "doesn't want this to be a one-time deal for the Super Bowl in North Texas, but the severe weather that hit the region [last] week certainly didn't help the cause" (N.Y. POST, 2/6).

    COMMISH'S STAMP OF APPROVAL: Goodell Friday said the Dallas-Ft. Worth area "has done an extraordinary job under some very difficult circumstances that are across this country" as a result of the weather. Goodell: "There are very few communities in the country right now who have not been impacted by this storm. I think this community has pulled together and done an extraordinary job. My hat's off to them" (, 2/4). But in Boston, Greg Bedard wrote, "For Goodell to say that 'North Texas was prepared if this happened' … is categorically false." The league and the host committee "should be condemned for their lack of action," as it is "one thing to have bad weather … it’s another to not be prepared for it." If the NFL is "going to play its biggest game in places where weather could be an issue, it must mandate in the bids that the host committee have the proper equipment at the ready, even if it is not used." There were "no salt trucks nor snow plows on the Dallas roads" last week. Bedard: "If there were, they did a terrible job" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/6). In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino wrote though Goodell "kept defending the city's handling of the storm, not enough trucks were available to salt and sand the roads and Dallas was virtually shut down" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/6). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro wrote Dallas-Ft. Worth "in theory" should have been a "fine place to hold a Super Bowl." It was "more bad luck than a bad idea" (N.Y. POST, 2/6). Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said of the weather, "Clearly, with all the visibility that we had, that's not what we wanted. The rest of the country is getting socked, too, but the rest of the country isn't hosting the Super Bowl" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/6).

    PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: On Long Island, Bob Glauber wrote the "chances are much greater that the New York/New Jersey area won't experience these kinds of logistical nightmares" when New Meadowlands Stadium hosts Super Bowl XLVIII in '14. Snow on game day "is a concern, especially a freakishly big storm." Glauber: "But you'd better believe that there will be an unprecedented mobilization of forces to pull off a successful New York/New Jersey experience" (NEWSDAY, 2/5). In Toronto, Cathal Kelly wrote it "may snow in New York in February 2014," but it "doesn't matter if it's coming down in waves, it won't paralyze Gotham the way a couple of inches have closed down Dallas" (TORONTO STAR, 2/6). New Meadowlands Stadium Co. President & CEO Mark Lamping: "There's a fundamental difference between us and Dallas. We're assuming we're going to get bad weather; all of our plans are based on us having bad weather. Down here, they planned for bad weather, but those were contingency plans." Goodell noted, "In New York, not only are they prepared, they're probably planning on this type of weather. The fact is they are going to be prepared for this" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/5). Meanwhile, Indianapolis will host next year's Super Bowl XLVI, and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said he feels "a little sorry" for Dallas-Ft. Worth "because they don't have the equipment, they don't have the expertise" to deal with winter weather. Ballard: "If something like this happens to us, we'll have 80 trucks out there going 24 hours a day, plus some smaller trucks to get into places where the big trucks can't get into. We know how to handle this very, very well" (, 2/5).

    MAKING A LIST: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote, "If you're going to stage Super Bowls in locales that are immune to inclement weather then your list of host cities is Miami, Tampa and San Diego, with Phoenix, where it gets cold, but not icy, as a borderline option. That's it" (, 2/4).'s Gene Wojciechowski wrote under the header, "Cold Reality: SB Doesn't Belong Here." The Super Bowl "should never be awarded to a city where you can see your breath in February," as fans "want to sit by the pool, not by a space heater." Miami, San Diego, Phoenix, Tampa and New Orleans are the "places where the Super Bowl ought to be." Wojciechowski: "In fact, always should be. Warm, inviting places" (, 2/4).

    HEADED NORTH? Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Friday "once again floated his idea of a New England Super Bowl," and his "point was that if Dallas could handle snow and sleet, so could Foxboro." Kraft: "I'm thinking about it, maybe we should have a Super Bowl in New England, maybe we should get on the list" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5). Former Dolphins Exec VP/Football Operations Bill Parcells said he thinks "some of the cities that were founders -- the Chicagos, the Philadelphias, Pittsburgh, New York City -- why wouldn't they deserve to have a Super Bowl?" Parcells: "If the elements are a little adverse, that's what part of football has always been. … I'm not worried about the cocktail parties myself. The social aspect of the Super Bowl, I don't have any interest in that" (N.Y. POST, 2/6).

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  • Super Bowl XLV Becomes Top Grossing Event In StubHub's History

    Super Bowl XLV over the weekend, as expected, became the top-grossing event in StubHub history. Average selling prices for the game ended at $3,559 per ticket, 49% above last year's mark of $2,386, and the highest since an average of $4,004 per ticket four years ago for the Colts-Bears Super Bowl XLI in Miami. StubHub ticket unit sales volume for this year's Super Bowl roughly matched last year, but the far higher average prices fueled a nearly 50% increase in total grosses for the eBay-owned secondary ticket outfit. StubHub's average sale price for the $200 face value Party Plaza tickets outside Cowboys Stadium was $327. The top five highest grossing events in StubHub history -- Super Bowl XLV, the ‘11 BCS National Championship game, Game Six of the '09 Yankees-Phillies World Series, Super Bowl XLIV, and Game Three of the '10 Giants-Rangers World Series -- have all occurred in the past 16 months.

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  • NFL Freshens Up Super Bowl Halftime Show With Black Eyed Peas

    Black Eyed Peas' space-themed halftime show featured several guest stars

    The Black Eyed Peas last night at Super Bowl XLV "delivered a 15-minute halftime performance layered with spectacle and studded with guest stars," and the group "did exactly what a Super Bowl halftime show should -- it entertained," according to Preston Jones of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The performance "would've been plenty engaging, even without cameos from former Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash and R&B superstar Usher." A "small army of dancers from local high schools took to the field, outfitted with LED-augmented outfits that provided some truly dazzling eye candy." The Black Eyed Peas "were lowered onto the Super Bowl stage from the massive HD scoreboard" at Cowboys Stadium, and their setlist spanned most of the group's "more recent career." Current hits like "The Time (Dirty Bit)" were blended with older hits like "Pump It."  It was "not the greatest halftime performance of all time," but "youthful energy is far more compelling at the Super Bowl than creaky guitar rock" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7). In N.Y., Jon Caramanica notes "unlike in previous years, in which fans were allowed on the field to suffocate the stage, this year, there were hundreds of dancers in illuminated unitards helping round out the Black Eyed Peas' space show." They "formed arrows to direct the eye to the stage, and during 'Where Is the Love?' formed hearts, lit up red and scattered across the field" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/7). Also in N.Y., Soraya Roberts writes the performance "lit up the field in the middle of the game, with Fergie appearing nervous as she descended onto the stage on her tiny platform." Fergie's mike "did take a moment to kick in at the start of their set, but then it was a smooth ride from there, with each song given Olympic-style choreography" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/7).'s Jerry Greene wrote the Black Eyed Peas "worked and brought back sexy and wholesome to the Super Bowl halftime" (, 2/6). But on Long Island, Glenn Gamboa writes the Black Eyed Peas "might have been better off lip-synching," or "at least working a bit harder with their sound engineers." There was a "whole lot of uneven singing and rapping, especially from Fergie, who sounded strong at times and strained at others." Gamboa: "Her ill-advised take on Guns N' Roses' 'Sweet Child o' Mine,' complete with Slash guitar solo, was the most problematic." Also, Usher, who dropped in to perform "OMG," "couldn't be heard at all" (NEWSDAY, 2/7).

    I GOTTA FEELING: In Phoenix, Larry Rodgers writes "after six years of playing it safe with well-established rock and pop acts at the Super Bowl," the NFL "freshened things up at this year's halftime show, handing the keys over to the Grammy-winning Black Eyed Peas." The 12-minute performance was a "welcome break from classic rock, but it could have benefited from having a tune or two edited out" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/7). USA TODAY's Tim Gardner writes the Black Eyed Peas "rocked the Super Bowl with a strong mix of their top hits" (USA TODAY, 2/7). In L.A., Todd Martens wrote, "The Peas, love 'em or hate 'em, are the group this game of hype deserves." But the whole performance "wasn't a winner." When Slash "emerged from beneath the act's rotund stage/space shuttle launch pad, it was a turn for the worst" (, 2/6). In Dallas, Mario Tarradell writes the Super Bowl halftime show is "supposed to be an overload for the senses," and it is "supposed to match the heightened fan pandemonium of the game itself." Given those parameters, the Black Eyed Peas "did their job without much of a hitch." But Slash's performance was "all but wasted." His guitar "wasn't amplified very loudly and his rendition" of Sweet Child o' Mine "wasn't very distinctive." And Usher, "who glided down on a bungee cord, didn't so much sing 'OMG' as he danced it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). In Newark, Jay Lustig writes, "While it's true that when there wasn't something spectacular going on, visually, they didn't offer much in the way of vocal dynamics, it's also true that there was usually something spectacular going on, visually -- those hordes of glowing dancers really were pretty cool -- so the 12 minutes passed very quickly. It was a solid B performance -- but nowhere near an A" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/7).'s Greg Garber wrote the Black Eyed Peas had a "tight, arresting conceptual halftime show that was pleasing to the eye, along with a cast of hundreds, aerial hijinx and lots of glow sticks" (, 2/6). In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel awarded the halftime show a "B" grade. Tramel: "The Black Eyed Peas were fine; they didn't embarrass the league, which is half the battle. And the light show was cool" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 2/7).

    The AP's Nekesa Mumbi Moody wrote, "On second thought, maybe Usher should have been the headliner for the Super Bowl halftime show." Usher "had only a brief cameo in the showcase, but his tightly choreographed moves marked the brief exhilarating moment of a surprisingly stale medley from the normally frenetic headliners, the Black Eyed Peas." The Black Eyed Peas "seemed tentative, and tense," and it "didn't help that Fergie's mic didn't kick in until midway through her first verse." Slash was an "unnecessary cameo that failed to add any sizzle" (AP, 2/6). In St. Petersburg, Eric Deggans writes the halftime show was "spoiled by serious technical issues." The Black Eyed Peas were "typically jaw-dropping ... visually." But Usher's appearance "mostly highlighted how boring the four Peas looked without him, stalking around a stage with no discernible dance talents of their own" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/7). In DC, Hank Stuever writes the Black Eyed Peas offered a "quick and uninspired robot-romp through their childlike pop oeuvre" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/7). In California, Ben Wener wrote the show was "positively underwhelming" (, 2/6).

    Aguilera has has some trouble with fourth line
    of national anthem before last night's game
    NATIONAL ANTHEM NIGHTMARE: In N.Y., Don Kaplan notes Christina Aguilera "flubbed the fourth line" of the national anthem before last night's game. Aguilera sang, "Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, what so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming." The correct lyrics: "Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming." Aguilera "seemed to try and make up for the goof by loading up the rest of the song with over-the-top flourishes and warbling notes that also have never been part of the national anthem." Her flub "immediately lit up Twitter where thousands of viewers ripped the singer to shreds" (N.Y. POST, 2/7). Also in N.Y., Elizabeth Harris noted Twitter was "immediately abuzz with talk of her mistake, and by the third quarter her Wikipedia page was changed to include the incident" (, 2/6). Aguilera said in a statement, "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). The STAR-TELEGRAM's Jones writes while she "dialed down her usual over-the-top melisma, Aguilera simply failed to get the lyrics right, which, given the fact that she's done this before, is a little baffling" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7). NEWSDAY's Gamboa writes there is a "reason why most singers lip-sync the national anthem at the Super Bowl and why Aguilera probably should have done the same Sunday, especially since she opted to perform it a cappella" (NEWSDAY, 2/7).'s Greene described Aguilera's performance as "brutal." She "managed to put four syllables into the word 'wave,' but still was 'under' on the length of the song, clocking in at 1:55 when two minutes flat was the over/under" (, 2/6). The L.A. TIMES' Martens wrote Aguilera "stretched and yelled the word 'brave' as if she were giving a lesson in what tinnitus sounded like" (, 2/6). But's Garber wrote Aguilera, "despite a flub of the lyrics, still delivered a throaty-yet-stately acapella version of the national anthem in her second Super Bowl performance" (, 2/6).

    LET'S GETTED IT STARTED: The STAR-TELEGRAM's Jones writes Glee's Lea Michele "delivered a competent but not especially showy rendition" of "America The Beautiful" before the game (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7).'s Greene wrote Michele "did a solid if unspectacular" performance of the song (, 2/6). In Milwaukee, Chris Foran writes Michele "belted out a straightforward rendition" of "America The Beautiful" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 2/7).'s Garber wrote Michele gave the song a "fresh, almost bouncy tempo" (, 2/6).

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  • Star Search: Recapping The Weekend's Hottest Super Bowl Parties

    Super Bowl XLV festivities wrapped up last night in North Texas, but not before a full weekend of parties. THE DAILY presents a final rundown of some of the hottest bashes.

    : The NFL for its official Super Bowl party on Friday night “took over a concrete floor ballroom the size of an airplane hangar at the Hilton Anatole,” the league’s hotel HQs. The VIP area was “hidden behind a curtain, where members” of Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones’ family, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft and Pro Football HOFer John Madden were among the guests. Country singer Martina McBride “played a set in a connecting ballroom.” A “walled off area with a rotating platform featured items from the Hall of Fame, including rings, cleats and the Lombardi trophy” (, 2/4)….The Ft. Worth Convention Center on Saturday "played host to the 20th annual Taste of the NFL.” Thirty-two chefs -- representing each NFL city -- were on hand to “serve up a dish of their choice.” More than 3,000 guests “paid upward of $600 a ticket to attend” the event, which supports food banks across the U.S. (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/6).

    FRIDAY PARTY HOPPING: The "elaborate decor" at ESPN The Magazine's NEXT Party at River Ranch in Ft. Worth -- "featuring a full-on Gold Rush-era Western town display combined with dancing cowgirls, a mechanical bull and Detroit's resident cowboy, Kid Rock -- would be enough to impress the surliest of cowboys." But some partygoers "may be a little less impressed in large part because of the less-than-expected celebrity guest list" (, 2/5). The “star-studded guest list that was expected never materialized.” But if the party “seemed a little low-wattage for an affair that was voted the No. 1 Super Bowl party last year in Miami, Kid Rock changed all that when he took the stage” (, 2/5)…. Audi at its party “gave some guests an Audi car and driver for the night", making celebrities and non-celebrities feel "like VIPs.” It was “quite a bonus considering the lack of cabs in Dallas”….The Sports Illustrated Black Eyed Peas Friday Night B4 Party was a “solid bash,” but it was a “tad chaotic and unorganized”….At the GQ Super Bowl Party sponsored by Lacoste and Cadillac, GQ “gave away free magazines, while Lacoste provided the rest of the swag.” Gifts included “custom-made GQ/Lacoste T-shirts, full-size shopping bags filled with Lacoste shirts, shoes bags and other accessories”….The Reebok ZigTech Super Bowl Event featured athletes “showing off the new wave of technology for Reebok” (, 2/5)….Radio host Rush Limbaugh converted the private wine room at Nick & Sam’s steakhouse into a “private ESPN Zone to entertain about 50 people.” The floor was “changed to green and yard line markers were added.” NBC’s Al Michaels “gave a pre-dinner talk to the group that included some of Rush’s big sponsors,” and Pro Football HOFer Michael Irvin “gave the after-dinner chat.” Michaels left early, but later returned with Kraft (, 2/5)....Cheri Summerall, the wife of former broadcaster Pat Summerall, “fell through her attic ceiling early Friday morning and still managed to throw a private party for 100 that night without any of the guests suspecting she’d had anything to do but primp” (, 2/5).

    SUPER BOWL EVE FESTIVITES:'s Lane & White wrote the Maxim State Fair Party at Centennial Hall in Dallas' Fair Park was the "best party of the week by far." It was "literally a carnival brought to life with a ferris wheel, skee-ball, balloon darts, go-carts and other theme park staples" (, 2/6)....The DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl Saturday “drew a big crowd in Victory Park,” while Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban’s Super Bowl party presented in conjunction with HDNet and DirecTV was an “epic invitation-only event that had a massive line of people down Victory as far as the eye could see.” Meanwhile, the Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party at Eddie Deen’s Ranch was a “star-studded affair. With its “décor and tasty BBQ, the party had a really cool Texas vibe to it” (, 2/6). The Steinberg bash "didn't have the overwhelming star power as some of his other previous events has, but Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and George W. Bush" attended (, 2/6).… Jim McMahon’s Swang’n Bash, held at the Granada Theater in Dallas, featured “Taco Bell burritos and Grandma’s cookies” (, 2/6).

    PARTY FOULS: The Event, scheduled to feature a performance by Prince, “was officially canceled moments before it was supposed to take place” Friday (, 2/5). Refunds “will be available at the point of purchase” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/6)….At the Rio Room in downtown Dallas Thursday, actress Amy Smart, actor Dave Annable, Saints RB Reggie Bush and Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon were “stranded at the DeLeon tequila-sponsored bash because no cabs or car services would drive out to pick them up.” Another party sponsor, GMC, “ended up shuttling guests home in SUVs.” A tour bus carrying Ludacris was “rear-ended by an 18-wheeler when the rapper/actor was on his way to meet” Cowboys QB Tony Romo for a charity event sponsored by Starter. And one party organizer “had to wait an hour for her bags when the airport conveyor belt got stuck” (N.Y. POST, 2/5).

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