ATLANTA Two Georgia college students who sneaked into the Super Bowl without tickets say Beyonce's half-time performance provided a distraction that helped them enter through a loading dock.
They also hope a video they took of their experience might help the Superdome improve security, though neither the New Orleans stadium nor the National Football League has contacted them.
"Everyone was watching Beyonce," said Joseph Roberts, 32, an English major at Savannah State University in Georgia and an aspiring screenwriter.
He and fellow student Malachi Youngblood, 24, decided to travel to New Orleans to enjoy the February 3 Super Bowl festivities even though they lacked tickets to the game, which ranged in face value from $850 and $1,250 and were much more expensive on the secondary market.
With small cameras strapped to their foreheads, they first filmed the crowds on Bourbon Street.
With their cameras still rolling, the students said, they walked to the front of the Superdome and kept going through a maze of parking decks and tailgate areas before finally arriving at a loading dock during the halftime performance.
Only once did a police officer ask for their credentials, the students said. They simply told the officer they had none, turned around, and walked in a different direction.
They made their way through the loading dock into the Superdome and found themselves watching Beyonce's performance along with everyone else.
"We were just astounded by the situation," Youngblood told Reuters in a telephone interview.
They stayed for only a few minutes after halftime and left through the front doors of the Superdome.
"We were nervous. We were scared," Roberts said.
Although the students posted video of their walk into the Super Bowl, they say they later began to worry it would reflect poorly on their university and took it down. They believe, however, that the video could help the Superdome improve security.
"If something needs to be addressed, we hope this video can spark the dialogue," said Roberts. "The only way we can help is through telling our story."
Neither the National Football League nor the Superdome have contacted them, the students said.
Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan referred all questions to the NFL. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment.
(Editing by Daniel Trotta)
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.