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Seatless Super Bowl ticket-holders will get into next year's game for free

February 7, 2011 |  9:15 am

Tix_350 The unlucky 400 ticket-holding fans who ended up with no seats at Super Bowl XLV will get their chance to watch the big game live from a seat in the host stadium.

Next year.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that those fans, who paid at least $800 for tickets in temporary seating only to learn the area wasn't ready in time for Sunday's game at Cowboys Stadium, will be invited to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis as guests of the league.

Originally, 1,250 fans were affected by the seating fiasco Sunday, but alternate seating was found for 850 of those people. The remaining 400 were taken inside the stadium to watch the game on monitors in the North Field Club, behind the Pittsburgh bench, and also had the option of viewing the game on the standing-room platforms in each corner of the stadium.

In addition, the NFL said Sunday that those 400 fans would be paid three times the face value of their tickets. They were also allowed on the field after the game and were given free merchandise and concessions, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Goodell said the situation was "obviously a failure on our behalf" and that the league takes full responsibility. He added that “safety is always paramount whether for our players or our fans.”

-- Chuck Schilken

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: Fans wait to exchange tickets from a section that had been closed before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Credit: Brandon Wade / MCT