The San Diego Chargers opted not to take advantage of the new blackout rule. Maybe they should have.
The preseason game between the Cowboys and Chargers has been blacked out in San Diego, with nearly 5,600 non-premium tickets remaining. The Chargers managed to sell only 700 non-premium tickets in the last two days.
If the Chargers had chosen to reduce the minimum number of non-premium tickets from 100 percent to 85 percent, the game would have been televised locally. By opting to stay at 100 percent and then by not choosing to write the check necessary to lift the blackout (teams can do that by purchasing all unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollar), the Chargers are inviting complaints from fans who want to watch the game on television.
There may not be much or any outcry for now, since it’s a meaningless preseason game. If, however, the Chargers fall within the 85-to-100 percent range in ticket sales for regular season games and refuse to pay the money necessary to lift the blackout, plenty of fans could be loudly criticizing the Chargers for not reducing the minimum percentage to mesh with the actual ticket sales in order to ensure that the games will be available on local TV.