Dallas Cowboys Target NFL Record by Making Fans Stand for $29
By Mary Schlangenstein and Thomas Korosec
Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- A crowd of 82,000 isn’t enough for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
He has a plan to set a National Football League attendance record when the team starts playing in its new $1.15 billion stadium next month. Tickets are being sold to fans who won’t get seats: They’ll watch the game standing up.
The $29 Party Pass tickets went on sale today for the Cowboys’ first two pre-season games and two regular season contests in the new stadium. The home opener is Sept. 20 against the New York Giants.
“Demand is going to be very high because you only get one chance at history, and for your die-hard Joe Sixpack Cowboys fan, $29 is a fantastic price point,” said Zach Anderson, chief operating officer of Ticketcity Inc., an Austin, Texas-based ticket broker.
The goal is to sell 15,000 to 35,000 of the passes for each of the four games, Jones said when announcing the plan last week. Passes for more games will be sold later.
“It’s a good price; I couldn’t afford more,” said Anthony Adams, 25, of Dallas, who was recently laid off from his job and bought a pass for $51 from an online broker. “I’m a big Cowboys fan and I thought it would be cool to say I was at the opening game.”
With 180,000 square feet (17,000 square meters) of free space, the stadium can accommodate more standing-room-only fans than any other NFL venue. The open areas are behind seats in each end zone and on a series of six elevated platforms connected by stairways.
“More fans can be at the stadium and, although they won’t all have a seat, they will definitely be a part of the action and experience on game day,” Jones said.
Standing fans will get an assist from a 72-by-160-foot (22- by-49-meter) video board hanging over the field. The board is the largest in the world, according to its manufacturer, Tokyo- based Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
That may not be enough, said Hank Wendorf, owner of Dallas- based Ticketsource.com. At a recent soccer game at the Cowboys’ stadium, only the first two or three rows of people had a direct view from the platforms, he said.
“You leave to get a drink and your spot is gone,” Wendorf said. No other NFL team is selling anywhere close to the number of standing seats that the Cowboys are, he said.
The NFL drew its biggest U.S. attendance at Super Bowl XIV on Jan. 20, 1980, according to the league’s Web site. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams were watched by 103,985 spectators at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
“We do think there will be more people there than there’s ever been in this country at an NFL football game,” Jones, 66, said of the home opener.
Most seats in the Cowboys’ new stadium were sold through season passes, according to the team’s Web site. The cheapest single-game tickets, at $75 and $99, are sold out for the season. A limited number of single-game tickets are available for $129 to $239.
While 7,400 seats remain available for the Cowboys-Giants game, it’s expected to sell out, said Sean Pate, a spokesman for StubHub, an EBay Inc. unit that matches online ticket sellers and buyers. The highest-priced ticket StubHub sold for the game was $4,900, he said.
To contact the reporters on this story: Mary Schlangenstein or Thomas Korosec in Dallas