Super Bowl XLV seating trial gets underway

Opening arguments began Monday in a trial brought by disgruntled ticket holders who paid for seats they never got to sit in at Super Bowl XLV.

The case is being heard in a Dallas federal court and centers on the 1,200 temporary seats that were declared unsafe only hours before the big game in Arlington in 2011.

The company hired to do the installation blamed the ice and snowy weather in the days leading up to the game.

Fans who had bought tickets in the affected areas were moved to new seats, some with obstructed views. About 400 had to watch the game on big screens in the stadium's standing room only area.

The plaintiff's attorney said in opening arguments the NFL and Jerry Jones were "obsessed" with breaking the old Super Bowl attendance record of about nearly 104,000 and pushed forward with adding seating at any cost.

The attorney also claimed the NFL knew that there was a seating problem 3 months before the game.

The jury learned about internal emails between NFL execs calling the seating situation "ugly" yet that information was not shared with ticket-buying fans.

The attorney for the NFL told the jury the league is not guilty of fraud or breach of contract with fans. He said the seating issues were caused by a seating contractor that got behind and the ice storm that hit North Texas that week.

He said the NFL takes full responsibility for the issue but does not think the league should be forced to compensate the seven fans that brought the suit beyond the face value of the tickets and costs for travel and lodging.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.