Jones thinks Super Bowl can break attendance record

Posted Feb. 01, 2011 @ 10:12 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

DALLAS — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might not have the NFC team he originally hoped would be playing in the Super Bowl, but the game between the Packers and Steelers on Sunday could still bring some form of good news.

Jones said he thinks Super Bowl XLV could draw a record crowd at Cowboys Stadium. The current attendance mark for a Super Bowl is 103,667 for Super Bowl XVII when the Redskins beat the Dolphins at the Rose Bowl.

"I think we can get to the NFL record without having to count that outside," Jones said on Tuesday. "If you count that outside, you might get to 108,000."

The stadium has 95,000 seats, plus 5,000 standing-room tickets sold for the outside plaza and luxury suite attendance, which accounts for at least 30 fans per box.

Cowboys Stadium already holds the NFL attendance record for a regular-season game. The Cowboys drew 105,121 in the opening game of Jones' $1.2 billion stadium — which has prompted several "Jerry World" comments throughout the week — when they lost to the Giants in the 2009 opener.

Jones said the stadium can hold up to 111,000 fans safely.

His original intent, of course, in both building the stadium and hosting the event was to have the Cowboys playing in it. But Jones said he admitted that pipe dream was not going to happen as long ago as the owners' meetings in Chicago in October, after his team began the season 1-5. Soon after, head coach Wade Phillips was fired, and though the team finished stronger, the Cowboys ended the season at 6-10 and out of the playoffs.

When asked if the Cowboys needed to win a Super Bowl soon to remain one of the elite franchises, which former Cowboys QB Troy Aikman had said earlier, Jones agreed.

"Yeah, I can (agree with that)," he said. "I think that certainly motivates me. It helped us to stay elite when we won the three (Super Bowls in four years). So you need to win. There's one thing that is important; stadiums aren't important. It's winning a Super Bowl."

Pouring salt into the Cowboys' wounds is the fact that the Steelers — the Cowboys' arch Super Bowl rivals in the 1970s — are playing in this game instead. Jones bought the team in 1989, however, and is 1-0 in Super Bowls against the Steelers.

"I'm not as mad about Pittsburgh, because we beat them in the Super Bowl (XXX in January 1996)," Jones said. "I'm really not as mad. I know some other fans are. Roger (Staubach) is madder at them than I am, and (he) should be."

Jones touched on a wide range of other issues, including: