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One man shouted: “They’re treating us like prisoners.” Another said, “We came a long way for this.”

Gerry Grillo, from New Jersey, said he paid $3,000 for a ticket on the secondary market, so he would lose money even if he got a refund.

“We’ve been in a holding area for two hours,” he said after finally being let in the stadium. “Two hours!”

Seating woes are the latest frustration for the first Super Bowl in the Dallas area.

A rare winter storm swept across the area Tuesday, ripping holes in tents on the property and hampering travel and celebrations across the region. On Friday, six people at the stadium were injured by melting snow falling from the roof one day after 5 inches of unwelcome snow fell on the area.

Organizers were hoping flawless game-day logistics would wipe out some of the complaints, but the seating problem could be an issue in the area’s plans to bid for the 50th Super Bowl in 2016.

The affected areas were four entryways and two portions of the upper deck on the west end.

In the upper deck, there were off-limits seats in the same rows as seats that were deemed safe. Yellow police tape was used as a dividing line, with uniformed personnel also keeping folks away.

“The safety of fans attending the Super Bowl was paramount in making the decision and the NFL, Dallas Cowboys and City of Arlington officials are in agreement with the resolution,” the NFL said in a statement. “We regret the situation and inconvenience that it may have caused. We will conduct a full review of this matter.”

About 15,000 temporary seats were added to the stadium in a bid to set the record for the largest crowd in Super Bowl history. The temporary seats filled open platforms that are usually standing-room only “party pass” areas for Cowboys games. The entryways were on the third level, while the upper deck is on the fifth level.

Rich McCandless of Butler, Pa., was at the game with his son, Rich Jr. The younger McCandless is in the Navy and got leave from submarine duty to come to Texas from Guam.

They were unable to sit in the seats they purchased and watched the game in a standing room-only section.

“They had no solution. Looked like a run around,” the father said. “I’d be more furious if I had any more energy. I’ve been standing since noon and I’m just tired.”


AP Pro Football Writer Jaime Aron, AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins and AP Video Reporter Haven Daley contributed.

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