By From Staff reports
Published 06 February 2011 01:06 PM
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Because of lingering issues with ice on the roof of Cowboys Stadium, at least three of 10 gates at Cowboys Stadium are closed. Some reports had four gates closed.
"We have to ensure the safety of the fans above everyone else so the decision was made to close some of the gates," said Arlington police Assistant Chief James Hawthorne, who confirmed three gates were closed.
The scene outside the stadium was tense Sunday afternoon, with some fans waiting several hours to get through security and into the stadium at Gate G near the Packers end zone.
Even when fans got into the stadium, some temporary seats were not even finished yet.
Hundreds of ticket holders were standing in a long line in the Party Pass area of Cowboys Stadium Sunday afternoon after being informed by NFL officials that their seats are not yet installed.
The displaced ticket holders have been given a form by the NFL guaranteeing them three times the $600 face value if they are not seated. The NFL is telling the displaced fans they still hope to seat them before kickoff.
Jason Livingston, 34, and Tom Sapienza, 66, of Austin waited in line for nearly two hours.
"People were chanting 'Jerry Jones sucks,' Livingston said.
Only two male and two female guards were doing pat-downs outside Gate G, which slowed the line down because the crowd was overwhelmingly male, they said.
Joani Shields of Bloomington, Indiana, 40, said she waited in line for two and a half hours.
"I thought fights were going to start breaking out," she said.
A group of Packers fans came into the stadium at around 3 p.m., and said they were "mad as hell" about their nearly three-hour wait.
"For a big city, Dallas has really disappointed," said 43-year-old Chris Johanski of Appleton, Wisconsin.
Gates B, D, F and J might be opened closer to kickoff. That decision would be made by the NFL. Hawthorne said that Arlington fire officials tried Saturday to remove the remaining ice from the roof after falling ice injured six people at the stadium on Friday.
"They took every effort they could but they couldn't get it all," he said, adding that it would be impossible to try and do more removal today. "We prepared for every contingency, including ice on the roof, but unfortunately Mother Nature didn't cooperate and the safety of the fans comes first."
Six people were injured by falling ice Friday outside the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV in Arlington. Win McNamee, a veteran photographer who works for Getty Image, broke his left shoulder in four places and was planning to fly home to Washington, D.C., on Saturday and undergo surgery soon.
None of the other injuries were thought to be life-threatening, authorities said.
The injuries were reported about 1:15 p.m. Friday after ice and snow fell from the southern area of the stadium roof.
Huge sheets of ice and snow atop the stadium could be seen sliding off the dome and crashing 200 feet to the ground as temperatures warmed and the sun reappeared.
The temperatures on Sunday reached into the 50's, but rain and snow was possible later in the day.
Still the delays at Cowboys Stadium didn't hurt everyone. Rich Walsh of Long Branch, New Jersey, 54, said it only took his group two minutes to get through.
"Some people went the wrong way," he said.