The opposing fan issue at AT&T Stadium has become such a controversial issue that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo felt the need to call out his own fans after Sunday’s 20-17 overtime against the Houston Texans.
It was the third home game this season that opposing fans made up at least an estimated 40 percent of the crowd for a Cowboys game but unlike the previous two matchups against San Francisco and New Orleans, it was the first time it affected the home team’s ability to make calls.
The offense had to resort to a silent count at home, prompting Romo to chastise Cowboys fans for selling their tickets.
Owner Jerry Jones, often blamed for the problem because of the high prices of tickets, understands both sides of the situation and doesn’t see it as a major issue.
He says the Cowboys have season ticket holders from all over the state, Oklahoma and New Mexico and even Mexico. He says some of them don’t go to all of the games, putting tickets on the open market place.
He said the lure of the stadium also has made Cowboys games the hottest selling ticket on the secondary market for opposing fans. And that’s not even considering the proximity of Dallas-Fort Worth being in the middle of the country, thus an easy place to travel.
Jones refuses to apologize for building a stadium that people want to visit.
“Well, first of all, I understand it,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “We have in this area, roughly seven million people. But we have 20-something million people statewide. Now we get it from all over. We have 1,500 season-ticket holders from Monterrey, Mexico. The point is we’re all over. And they don’t make every game. You put that with the fact that we’re the hottest ticket there is on the internet-type marketing of tickets, that’s the secondary market.
“The other day, these tickets for the Houston game were going as high as 300 percent of face value. Three-hundred percent. A Party Pass for $29 was going for $100. That’s standing only going for a hundred. I do want to get the record straight, our stadium is owned, the rights to those tickets are owned by fans. A large percentage of them don’t go to but four games, five games a year. The rest of the time they take into a very active and attractive situation, and they go out into the market and they sell their tickets and get that money and in doing so, they really do reduce their overall cost of coming to the stadium considerably because you sell two or three games as a season ticket holder and you’ve just about recouped what you’ve spent to buy the ticket.
“By the way, that only represents maybe 20 percent, 25 percent. But when you got 91,000 people, you take 20 percent of that, that’s 20,000 people. That’s going to make some noise. That’s going to make a lot of noise. Then you get a more active game, like we had with Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, it’s just a dynamic of, frankly, doing what we wanted to do. We built this stadium so that it would be so visible and so well-known across the United States. And you can get to this stadium in two and a half, three hours from any place in the United States, much less drive from within our own market. So that’s the story.”