Rams buy their own tickets to avoid blackout

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Apparently the prospect of potentially getting the first overall pick in next year’s NFL draft wasn’t enough to get St. Louis fans to fill the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.

The Rams bought back their own unsold tickets to avoid a local television blackout for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. NFL rules allow teams to buy back their unsold tickets at 34 percent of face value in order to avoid a blackout.

With the Rams at 2-13, it’s no surprise that St. Louis fans aren’t going to fill the stadium. For Rams fans, the biggest question is whether the Rams will get the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, which will come with a loss to the 49ers and a win by the Colts over the Jaguars.

That game may be played in front of thousands of empty seats, too: The Jaguars received a 24-hour extension to the blackout deadline on Thursday and haven’t yet had the local blackout lifted for their home game against the Colts.