Over-selling tickets is the oldest trick in the book. A local concert promoter once sold way too many tickets to a 1970s Willie Nelson concert. Then, to appease the fire marshal who was complaining about being over capacity, the promoter put “Restrooms” signs above doors that actually exited into the parking lot…and locked once they closed.
Ignoring warnings from city officials and stuffing too many fans into the Stadium With No Name at the Dallas Cowboys home opener makes owner Jerry Jones look like an uncaring bastard.
Anthony Spangler and Susan Schrock’s piece in today’s Star-Telegram includes a poll asking readers whether punitive action should have been taken against Jones after he ignored safety warnings. Last I looked, 80 percent were ready to throw the book at the Cowboys owner.
But, c’mon people, we got the record! You can’t get a record without breaking some rules, dawg!
That’s what this was about. Attendance topped 105,000 that day and Jones and his docked spaceship now hold the NFL attendance record for a regular season game.
Was pride the motivating factor for Jones?
My bet would be greed.
The stadium remains nameless because Jones is trying to hook a gazillion-dollar naming rights deal. Holding the attendance record is just another selling point when Jones sits down at the negotiating table with some corporate CEO who doesn’t yet realize times are changing, and that greed and largesse are often symbolized by these type of deals.
(Kind of like in 2004, when the Texas Rangers took their classically named Ballpark in Arlington and renamed it Ameriquest Field after a predatory, snake-in-the-grass mortgage company offered $75 million over 30 years.)