Of all the teams that could be tempted to take advantage of the NFL’s new blackout rule, the Raiders are the team that could be facing the toughest decision.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Raiders have yet to make a decision. Per a league source, the Raiders are still considering and evaluating the situation.
They have until August 9 to pick a percentage of non-premium seats between 85 and 100 that will apply for the entire season. Last year, the Raiders managed to sell out all home games, for the first time since returning to Oakland in 1995.
With a schedule that features visits from the Steelers and Saints at one extreme and the Jags, Bucs, and Browns at the other, it could be hard to duplicate that success, unless the Raiders contend for a playoff berth. Still, taking advantage of a rule that essentially constitutes an advance admission of failure doesn’t fit with the vibe that the organization currently is trying to generate.
Thus, we’d be surprised if the Raiders do anything other than keep the minimum percentage of non-premium ticket sales at 100.