As of Saturday, the Bengals will have played seven regular-season home games. And six of them will have been blacked out.
The Bengals quietly announced on Tuesday that, when the Cardinals come to town, the stadium will be as quiet as it has been for every home game except the one against the Steelers.
According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, only 41,202 fans showed up for the Week 14 game between the Texans and Bengals. Three times this year, fewer people attended a Bengals regular-season home game than attended the game played at Paul Brown Stadium between the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia, which drew 48,152.
The Bengals finish the season on New Year’s Day with a visit from the Ravens, which could have a playoff berth hinging on the outcome. Which raises an obvious question: How bad would the attendance have been this year if the team wasn’t 8-6?
The Broncos-Bills game also has been blacked out for Saturday. No games will be played in any of the other 2011 blackout hot spots (i.e., San Diego, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Minnesota).