As the NFL launches the first Sunday of the regular season, the television signal for the home team’s game will be blocked in only one market.
The Panthers-Bucs game will be the only blackout this weekend, with sellouts (i.e., all non-premium seats sold at least 72 hours before kickoff) everywhere else.
Of course, sellouts should be expected in Week One. And it was believed for months that the Bucs would be able to reach the minimum number, especially since the team decided to take full advantage of the new 85-percent minimum and the Bucs slashed prices on concessions and some parking and Cam Newton is coming to town and, you know, it’s Week One.
Two of the other cities taking advantage of the new rule — the Raiders (85 percent) and the Vikings (90 percent) — are hosting games, and managed to sell the minimum number of tickets. The Dolphins also dropped the number to 85 percent but they are on the road on Sunday, at Houston.