SBD/January 10, 2012/Facilities

Fans Bumped From Seats At BCS Championship For Media Overflow

Top two rows of stadium's upper deck were turned into overflow area for media
Dozens of fans arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last night for the Allstate BCS National Championship game between LSU and Alabama “to find their seats were taken for auxiliary press seating,” according to Brett Martel of the AP. The top two rows of the upper deck “were turned into an overflow area for the media, with one of the rows covered by tables.” Fans complained that “they paid for those seats but wouldn’t be allowed to use them.” Sugar Bowl officials, who “were in charge of hosting the championship this season, quickly found new seats for affected fans closer to the field.” Sugar Bowl Dir of Media Relations & Communications John Sudsbury said, “In making adjustments to accommodate the overwhelming media demand for this game, it was necessary to void seating in the upper (rows) of the stadium. Apparently, some of that seating was not removed from the saleable manifest.” Sudsbury added that the bowl had “an emergency relocation plan in place that accommodated all involved ticket holders.” The mix-up is “similar to a situation that occurred at last year’s Super Bowl” at Cowboys Stadium (AP, 1/9). In Boston, Mark Blaudschun notes the fans who purchased tickets for the top two rows “paid $300 for the seats” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/10).

TICKETS WERE IN DEMAND: StubHub Head of Communications Glenn Lehrman indicated that the demand for a ticket to last night's game was "more than any other college football regular-season game or bowl game." ESPN's Erin Andrews reported the average price people paid for tickets was $1,800, but "we’ve heard some big prices -- $3,000, $5,000.” Andrews reported from the stands and noted she spoke with a fan in the section that “sold a ticket for about $3,000.” Andrews said sarcastically, “No one wants to see a rematch, nobody’s going to watch this game. Yeah, right.” ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit said, "I don’t know if we’ve ever had a scene like this with two SEC teams in New Orleans at the Superdome. It’s unprecedented, the hype and buzz around this dome right now.” ESPN’s Desmond Howard attended the Lions-Saints game Saturday night and said, “I think this may actually rival that atmosphere. This is going to be special here tonight” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 1/9).
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