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Bills won’t take advantage of new blackout rule

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The NFL is allowing teams to ease their local television blackout rules this season, but the Buffalo Bills are telling fans that if they want to see the Bills, they’ll have to fill the stadium.

We are not going to participate in the relaxed-manifest rule,” chief executive officer Russ Brandon told the Buffalo News. “We are a volume-based business, and for us to be successful, we need to keep our ticket prices low and sell a greater number of tickets.”

In other words, the Bills want the threat of a blackout to keep fans from figuring they can just stay home and watch games for free. From a dollars-and-cents perspective, that might be the right call for the Bills, but it won’t make the folks in Buffalo happy. The Buffalo News editorialized against the Bills blacking out their home games, and U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, criticized the Bills for not taking advantage of the new rule.

“I think it’s disappointing, and I think it’s somewhat short-sighted,” Higgins said. “I’m disappointed that they didn’t take into account the loyalty of the fan base here in Buffalo.”

But the Bills aren’t budging. They note their ticket prices are low by NFL standards and that if they can’t fill Ralph Wilson Stadium at the prices available, then they can’t be on local TV.

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11 Responses to “Bills won’t take advantage of new blackout rule”
  1. dmartin17 says: Jul 13, 2012 10:21 AM

    What does it cost to get to a bills game? I feel like I should be able to get tickets to a non-pats game for like $10.

    Still doesn’t make it worth it in the cold vs my comfy couch and HDTV.

  2. yinzgotsix says: Jul 13, 2012 10:22 AM

    Buffalo wont have a problem filling seats this year

  3. mrbgood315 says: Jul 13, 2012 10:29 AM

    As a Bills fan I can understand where the team is coming from. People sitting at home watching the games on free TV won’t keep our team in Buffalo very long. Sad but true.

  4. buffalowned says: Jul 13, 2012 10:38 AM

    so in the huge market of chicago if the bears sell 62,000 tickets they sell out…yet in the small market of buffalo if they sell 72,000 the game is blacked out. that makes sense…should definitely make the fan base happy

  5. cush2push says: Jul 13, 2012 10:45 AM

    Even if they opt’d in buffalo didnt sell 85% of its games 4 of the 5 non soldout games and when you opt in you have to put a bigger percent into shared revenue

  6. 49erstim says: Jul 13, 2012 11:05 AM

    How long until teams charge you to watch it at home? I’m not talking Sunday Ticket either. That’ll be the wave of the future….just you watch.

  7. greymares says: Jul 13, 2012 11:19 AM

    the Bills better clean up the act of the drunken fans that do attend the games and the problems they cause. there would be many more fans that would like to attend but fear for their safety. Im not a Bills fan but visit there often and attend games with well behaved older Bills fans and i cant beleive the behavior i witness.

  8. panamon says: Jul 13, 2012 11:34 AM

    “I’m disappointed that they didn’t take into account the loyalty of the fan base here in Buffalo.”

    What the hell is this supposed to mean?

  9. catquick says: Jul 13, 2012 1:55 PM

    What the Bills stand to make on the banana’s they will lose on the peaches. It isn’t “free” to watch the games at home. As a matter of fact, you pay for it whether you watch it or not. people who don’t know a football from a basketball pay for both sports every time they purchase a product marketed on the games telecast. Its a built in cost at the market for advertising revenue. That’s why Air Jordans cost 10 times more than X brand sneakers. It”s the dough they pay Jordan that raises the desire and price for the shoe. So, If the Bills showed the games at home, the local advertising dollar would skyrocket, and they wouldn’t incur the costs associated with thousands more people than they have now. the big cash comes from TV, not ticket sales. A few yrs back an article I read said some teams would make a profit it NO ONE attended a game. the Bills score big off of all the merchandise I see even elderly women wearing. Blacking out the games seems shortsighted to me.

  10. buffalo75vette says: Jul 13, 2012 9:06 PM

    It’s time for the powers to be in Buffalo government to stand up and have Ralph pay his fair share on the renovations. Better yet, have Ralph pay Buffalo for naming that stadium after him.

  11. billsboy88 says: Jul 13, 2012 9:12 PM

    Put a good product on the field and the tickets will sell themselves.

    As a Bills fan, I’ve seen that each of the past few years there ends up being a a home game or two late in the year when the Bills are already out of playoff contention with a cold, snowy weather forcast.
    So, I’m supposed to pay a fortune to sit (I always stand) in the cold and watch my injury-riddled team play in a meaningless game which they have a very good chance of losing anyhow? Not likely.
    Now if my team is in playoff contention it’s an entirely different story.

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