NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – By now, you might have heard all about Super Bowl fans spending hours in line at Cowboy Stadium to find out their seats didn't exist. The NFL says more than 1,200 fans were affected by "seat-gate."
Most of them were eventually seated elsewhere, Crystal and Justin McCarthy included.
Diehard Cowboy fans, the McCarthys are celebrating ten years of marriage. Their decision between a Hawaii vacation and Super Bowl XLV was simple.
"I knew immediately. I was like we're going to go to the Super Bowl!" said Crystal.
After months of planning, their arrival at Cowboy Stadium was met with disaster.
"He said, your ticket is invalid," recalled Crystal.
The couple was shuffled from line to line. They say staff handed them a letter explaining their seats were not available. Others told them they would be let inside.
"There was just no communication and still nobody would really tell us anything," said Crystal.
After five hours of waiting and kick off just 30 minutes away Justin and Crystal were exhausted and angry.
"I just sat down and I buried my face in my hands and I just cried. This letter tells me we're not going to the Super Bowl," said Crystal.
Finally their section re-opened. Unlike some lucky fans, they were never offered a chance to upgrade their seats.
"Realizing that the NFL knew a week ahead of time that these seats may not be ready—yeah it's frustrating," said Justin. "It's frustrating that you know they put us in seats that literally 30 minutes before you know the workers were putting the last few nuts and bolts in it."
Crystal says she watched a bolt fall right out from under her seat. In fact, she still has it.
"I kind of got to thinking, is this safe? Like could these things collapse?" questioned Crystal.
The NFL is apologizing to fans like the McCarthys but the couple isn't sure if they can forgive.
"I feel like I don't know almost like a family member has betrayed me," said Crystal.
"I wish I hadn't been a part of it. At this point we definitely wish we would have just gone to Hawaii," said Justin.
The fiasco may have ruined their anniversary but they say it's one they'll never forget.
The NFL is offering the McCarthys a full refund or tickets to any future Super Bowl of their choice. Right now, they're not sure what they'll do but the couple is certain they won't buy season tickets again this year.