PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Can we call Rooney? Hello Mr. Rooney! Where are my tickets?”
Cecilia Barry holds up a fake telephone to her ear and shouts out the question.
She’s 81-years-old and says she has nothing to lose.
In less than 24 hours, the North Shore will be awash in a sea of “Black and Gold.” Tailgaters will pack the parking lots and fans will funnel through the gates at Heinz Field. But one life-long season ticket holder won’t be in her usual seats.
When this year’s tickets didn’t show up in the mail, Cecilia “Cyl” Barry says she knew something wasn’t right. She reached out to KDKA’s Meghan Schiller after learning a mistake threatened to end her family’s 70-plus year tradition.
“How, after all these years, can this happen,” said Cyl.
“Hopefully, Mom, they’re just going to send us an invoice, we’ll pay the invoice, and they’ll send us two tickets,” said Dave Barry, Cecilia’s son.
For 81 years, Cyl’s life has centered around Pittsburgh Steelers football.
“Forbes Field, Pitt stadium, Three Rivers and Heinz,” she said.
She first went to games with her father, and she taught her son Dave that the Steelers are more than a team, they’re a family tradition.
Until last week.
“All of a sudden you see on TV they’re playing Friday, the first game, rah-rah, and I’m thinking, I don’t have any tickets,” said Cyl. “I guess it’s my fault. I should have known something earlier.”
Her son, Dave, said she feels terrible after making, what she calls, a terrible mistake.
“If you call her, leave her a message on her phone, and she’ll get it. Send her a letter in the mail. She’s good with all that,” said Dave.
But she’s not good at email.
“If [you said to me] Cyl, I’ll give you a million dollars if you go on your email, I couldn’t do it. I don’t know how to get on. I’d have to forfeit the million dollars,” said Cyl.
But an email is exactly what the Steelers sent her to let her know the invoice they mailed her to pay for the tickets came back “undeliverable.” Of course, she never saw that email and she says her trusty home phone of 61 years never rang.
Once she realized she never got her tickets this year, she and has son started investigating. That’s when they found the “final notice” email that popped up in her email inbox on July 27.
“This notice is to inform you that your season tickets were not renewed for the 2019 season and your seats have been cancelled,” read Barry. “If there is a seat license associated with your seats, these have also been forfeited to the Steelers.”
Barry immediately called the Steelers on behalf of his mother, but it was too late.
“I thought I’d be able to pick up the phone and tell them we’ve been a season ticket holder since 1970 and they’d be able to take care of it. It was a misunderstanding,” said Barry. “[I got] no where,” he said.
This Friday night, when the new Steelers’ season kicks off, Cyl said she’s praying for a miracle to get her off the couch and into the stands.
“You yell at the television, but it’s not the same,” said Cyl.
But KDKA is thrilled to report that the Steelers understood Cecilia Barry’s mistake and secured her new season tickets. She will receive her tickets just in time for Friday night’s first pre-season game.
Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said they are very happy to have this issue resolved and are excited that she’ll be at the game.
The Steelers want to remind all season ticket holders to make sure to update their account information regularly, including their mailing and email addresses, in order to avoid a similar situation.