Blackout decisions due Sunday

The ability of teams to avoid blackouts by reducing the percentage of non-premium ticket sales from 100 percent to as low as 85 percent comes with crater-sized caveats.

For starters, the percentage can’t be set on a week-by-week basis, with the limit staying at 100 percent when facing a team like the Steelers and dropping to 85 percent when a less popular team comes to town.

Then there’s problem of guessing too low.  If a franchise takes advantage of the ability to drop the limit to 85 percent, every ticket sold above that amount is subject to an increased contribution to the visiting-team pool.  Specifically, the amount jumps from 34 cents on the dollar to 50.

Unfortunately for the teams that may need to reduce their magic number from 100 percent, the decision must be made soon.  As in this week.  As in, according to Jerry Zremski of the Buffalo News, by Sunday, July 15.

The Chargers and Colts have said they won’t take advantage of the new rule.  Other teams that may consider it include the Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Bengals, Jaguars, Raiders, Vikings, Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Rams.

In making the decision, each team must look at its schedule and attempt to come up with a frank assessment as to the anticipated ability to move tickets early in the season and, if the team struggles, late in the campaign.

It won’t be an easy decision, especially since the mere existence of the relaxed rule will make fans and media more inclined to demand that teams do whatever they have to do to ensure that all games are televised.

11 responses to “Blackout decisions due Sunday

  1. Having recently moved to the SD area, I am OK with the Chargers’ decision. That way, when they can’t fill their stadium, I won’t have to watch them.

  2. The fact that the number can’t be set on a week-to-week bases or it isn’t just flat-out lowered to 85% across the board is just proves the scam being run exists. The NFL wants to discourage teams from accepting the lowered limit while placing the blame on the teams themselves for not doing it. A 16% profit loss ought to guarantee that the only teams to take the chance are the ones desperately needing to get fans into the stands at any cost. Some won’t do it simply out of spite. This is a bogus program destined to fail in all aspects…and when it does we are all back to square 1 while the NFL has something to point to that says the black-out system is still the way to go.

  3. The Bucs better take full advantage of this! I think they had 7 games blacked out last year.

  4. The Jags’ tarps plus this should put about 500-1,000 people in the stadium, on free beer day.

  5. Who’s your team Skooby? Probably another FL team that actually was blacked out last year, unlike the Jaguars.

  6. The managers if the front offices of the clubs have to remember what they leared on college macro-economics. It’s about supply and demand. LOWER THE TICKET PRICES!!! You will make money from concessions with tails in every seat!!!!!!

  7. I’m surprised the networks, who shell out billions for the TV contract still allow blackouts. The blackout policy is the most asinine business practice in the world.

    Name another business that punishes its customers at large for not buying enough of its product.

  8. If the Jags remove the tarps (which cover roughly 10,000 seats) and lower the % of non-premium seats necessary to avoid a blackout to 85%, it means they have to sell ~4,000 more tickets.

    Maybe worth it to take away the stigma of the tarps, but then people would say there is a stigma because of the %, overlooking other teams that used it too. Just like nobody mentions the Redskinns taking out roughly 10,000 seats from a stadium for a franchise in a recession-proof city.

    In the end, I don’t see the Jags making a change on the % this year.

  9. Well hell if they’d stop jackin up ticket prices maybe folks wouldn’t mind paying to attend a game…

    Just to f**k with em, the entire nfl fan base should all sit at home and watch red zone all day and see every touchdown from every game in a empty quiet ass stadium

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