Ostensibly, the Cardinals want to discourage fans of the 49ers and Bears from buying up tickets to games due to be played on Monday, October 29 and Sunday, December 23, respectively. As a practical matter, the Cards simply want to sell as many tickets to as many games as possible.
Under a “Protect the Nest” promotion that launches on Friday, the Cardinals will allow tickets to either game to be purchased only by buying tickets to two other games, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
To get a ticket to the Bears game, a ticket to the September 9 season opener against the Seahawks and the September 23 game against the Eagles must be purchased, too. For the 49ers game, a ticket to the game against the Seahawks and the September 30 game against the Dolphins must be purchased.
Coincidentally, the two popular late-season games are tied directly to a trio of home games due to be played in the first three weeks of the season. For a team that has struggled at times to sell tickets, lumping three home games into the month of September requires a little creativity — especially when the team will start the season with a choice between two quarterbacks that will prompt some fans to root for “neither.”
Of course, it’s not entirely fair to folks who want to see in person only the 49ers game or the Bears game, regardless of whether they are fans of the Cardinals or the Bears or the 49ers. But fair doesn’t matter when it comes to selling tickets — especially if there’s a chance that 49ers or Bears fans who live in Arizona will spring for the tickets to the other two games if that’s what it takes to get a ticket to the game they want to see.