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Bills scramble to avoid first blackout of the NFL season

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The NFL has made it through five weeks with no blackouts.  That streak could end on Sunday.

The Bills are scrambling to persuade fans to buy tickets for the debut of quarterback Thad Lewis, who’ll be subbing for the injured EJ Manuel as Buffalo hosts the Bengals.

During an appearance on WGR 55 in Buffalo, CEO Russ Brandon said 7,000 tickets must be sold to avoid a local blackout.

As part of the effort to televise the game in Buffalo, the Bills have offered $15 per ticket via Twitter.

Said one fan in response:  “Can I have $15 off my season ticket?

That’s the problem with efforts to sell tickets to any given game.  Folks who have made a full-season commitment don’t get the benefit of the reduced prices or, in some cities, the free beer.

In Buffalo, folks who want to watch the game at home may have to do something else with all the beer they bought for Sunday.

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55 Responses to “Bills scramble to avoid first blackout of the NFL season”
  1. jnbnet says: Oct 9, 2013 9:46 AM

    It is so hard to be suportive when your team sucks. As a Patritos fan, I know what it is like. We used to be NFL dorrmat and we were laughed at. I was in attendance for the record lowest attendance Patritos game. You could not even GIVE your tickets away. Those who do support the team will have the greatest joy when the Bills climb back to the top.

  2. tcostant says: Oct 9, 2013 9:48 AM

    Up to $15 off per ticket; not $15 a ticket. Big difference. Makes the season ticket holder comment logical.

  3. petehemlock says: Oct 9, 2013 9:51 AM

    Really? Such a passionate fanbase can’t get up for Thad? Shocking. Just shocking.

  4. gah05 says: Oct 9, 2013 9:51 AM

    Seating capacity of almost 74,000 so 67,000 tickets sold. Come on Bills, relax on your blackouts & take care of your loyal suffering fans.

  5. ubepunkedagain says: Oct 9, 2013 9:53 AM

    LOL @ Bill Fan. Five games in and they are scrambling to avoid a blackout.

  6. i10east says: Oct 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    Remember, it’s the Jaguars that’s supposed to be headed to London though….

  7. mc321984 says: Oct 9, 2013 9:58 AM

    Bills don’t tarp off half their seats though

  8. steelerchicken says: Oct 9, 2013 10:01 AM

    I turned down a chance to buy Steelers tickets to 3 games this year! You can watch from home and not deal with the drunks and save money. Plus, the team stinks this year!!!!

  9. comatrip1 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:01 AM

    I feel bad for their fans. I tend to be a fan of certain fan bases. I like Buffalo’s fans. The die hard ones are real fans. I feel bad for the city that they lose games to Toronto. I agree with jnbnet. Hang in there guys. When the team turns it around and is consistently good, you can say you never gave up and were there during the bad times too.

    Signed, an equally frustrated, yet die-hard Browns fan.

  10. gb4mn0 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:02 AM

    What corporation did the vikqueens hit up this week to cover the needed ticket sales to avoid the blackout of their freak show?

  11. willis32 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:03 AM

    The Jags, Dolphins, and Bucs’ owners buy out the remaining seats once the stadium is 85% full.

    For whatever reason the Bills don’t do this, that is the only reason the Bills are close to being 1st Blackout.

  12. donniev77 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:08 AM

    Don’t ever question the passion or loyalty of Bills fans. 14 years with out a playoff birth and the fans still come out and support the team.

    In such a small market it’s understandable that at some point fans have to chose to spend their, often small amount, of disposable income else where.

  13. whodey23 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:11 AM

    This isnt anything new for Bengal fans we seem to deal with this on a yearly basis and we have been to the playoffs the last two years. Until the greedy NFL lowers ticket prices this trend will spread. I say pull what Jax does throw a large a$$ glad trash bag over the entire upper deck. HA

  14. EJ says: Oct 9, 2013 10:11 AM

    i10east says:
    Oct 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    Remember, it’s the Jaguars that’s supposed to be headed to London though….
    ================================================
    67,246- EverBank Field- Home of the Jaguars
    73,079- Ralph Wilson Stadium- Home of the Bills
    ——
    5,833 more seats that the Bills have to sell out.
    Besides, the Bills won’t buy out the tickets at .35 cents on the dollar, the Jaguars do. Therefore, that is why the Jaguars would be London’s team.

  15. kylorama1 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:12 AM

    October 2005, we were on vacation traveling to Niagara falls. We stopped to get some pic’s of the stadium and there were hundreds of fans in RV’s on a Saturday afternoon, getting ready for Sundays game! There is a loyal fanbase, but I am not surprised. By playing games in Toronto, demanding a new stadium or we will leave. Why spend money on a ticket for a team with one foot out of town. Maybe if the Bills showed commitment to the city and STAYING in Buffalo, then the fans would hop back on the Bills bandwagon.

  16. harvestern says: Oct 9, 2013 10:13 AM

    The Bills should consider lowering seating capacity to 65k-67k. It would ensure there are more sellouts, even in bad years, which is unfortunately almost every year. I think a 73k seat stadium is too much to ask for an entire stadium when you look at team performance and the local economy. Even with blackout this Sunday we will have the same or more attendance than a sold out Solider Field.

  17. powpow042 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:19 AM

    Chargers have about 10,000 tickets to sell to avoid blackout for Monday night game. I find it interesting though that no one challenges the great fans of Buffalo for being bad fans. But if San Diego doesn’t sell out…well then…Chargers fans are just plain bad fans.

  18. flyerguy73 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:24 AM

    Who wants to spend hard earned money to see a team that will never prevail to be even close to a good football team? They stink just like all buffalo teams. I think it’s great!

  19. joshh967 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:29 AM

    jnbnet says: Oct 9, 2013 9:46 AM

    It is so hard to be suportive when your team sucks. As a Patritos fan, I know what it is like. We used to be NFL dorrmat and we were laughed at. I was in attendance for the record lowest attendance Patritos game. You could not even GIVE your tickets away. Those who do support the team will have the greatest joy when the Bills climb back to the top.

    ——————————————

    I’m happy to see some support and honesty when it comes to this. I think too many fans won’t truly admit what happens to attendance when a team dips in talent.

  20. kosarsmyidol says: Oct 9, 2013 10:31 AM

    Even if EJ Manuel were healthy, the team would have a young, inexperienced quarterback in need of hometown support. People will be surprised at how well Thad Lewis does.

  21. kgun80 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:38 AM

    @flyerguy73…
    You do know the Bills and the Eagles have the same record… And the Flyers just fired their head coach after 3 games? Right??

  22. skoobyfl says: Oct 9, 2013 10:40 AM

    13 years of futility comes home.

  23. rugg13 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:44 AM

    The Bills Organization is the worst in all sports. The fans suffer the most. They put an horrible product out and want people to buy tickets. They don’t even try to help the community and accept the 90 percent rule. 14 years and no playoffs. It’s all about Ralph making money. Come on can’t we all get excited for the Thaddeus Era!! Russ is the best PR guy in the world because he sells tickets to people for a team that blows. All the Bills are is a scam. They sale hope and for the Bills there is no hope.

  24. weiser5150 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:47 AM

    EJ says:
    Oct 9, 2013 10:11 AM
    i10east says:
    Oct 9, 2013 9:54 AM

    Remember, it’s the Jaguars that’s supposed to be headed to London though….
    ================================================
    67,246- EverBank Field- Home of the Jaguars
    73,079- Ralph Wilson Stadium- Home of the Bills
    ——
    5,833 more seats that the Bills have to sell out.
    Besides, the Bills won’t buy out the tickets at .35 cents on the dollar, the Jaguars do. Therefore, that is why the Jaguars would be London’s team.

    Research BEFORE running your mouth….The Bucs are the only team to opt for the 85% blackout number.

  25. rugg13 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:48 AM

    The Bills are a scam organization. Ralph worst owner in sports. Russ will come up with more excuses at the end of the year. They will draft some player and tell the Bills Nation is all good. 13 years and counting. You would think you would get lucky one year and be “in the hunt” until least week 10. Maybe next year.

  26. multiplemiggs says: Oct 9, 2013 10:51 AM

    hahahaha another bust year for the ugliest fans in football. I love it. Toronto BILLS- Boy I Love Losing Superbowls hahaha

  27. captbuff says: Oct 9, 2013 10:54 AM

    multiplemiggs says:
    Oct 9, 2013 10:51 AM
    hahahaha another bust year for the ugliest fans in football. I love it. Toronto BILLS- Boy I Love Losing Superbowls hahaha

    ——————

    Super Bowl is 2 words, mate

  28. joetoronto says: Oct 9, 2013 10:56 AM

    It’s a known fact that 10’s of thousands of Canadians go to every Bills games every week, except for Canadian Thanksgiving week.

    Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada.

  29. captbuff says: Oct 9, 2013 10:58 AM

    powpow042 says:
    Oct 9, 2013 10:19 AM
    Chargers have about 10,000 tickets to sell to avoid blackout for Monday night game. I find it interesting though that no one challenges the great fans of Buffalo for being bad fans. But if San Diego doesn’t sell out…well then…Chargers fans are just plain bad fans.

    —————-

    San Diego metro area is about 3MM people, versus about 1MM for Buffalo’s metro area. Similar sized stadium, and your team has made the playoffs a handful of times in our 14 year drought. You’re also an hour and a half south of supposedly “football hungry” LA, which has a metro area of 12MM. Even if you say we have Toronto, the combined size of the 2 markets is 15MM for SD/LA; and 6MM for Buffalo/Toronto. I think if Buffalo was 2.5 times the size it is now, we’d probably sell those 7,000 seats, even in cold weather, which we all know people from SD could never handle.

  30. obsessedvikingfan says: Oct 9, 2013 11:08 AM

    gb4mn0 says: Oct 9, 2013 10:02 AM

    What corporation did the vikqueens hit up this week to cover the needed ticket sales to avoid the blackout of their freak show?
    __________________

    Stay classy Green bay fans. Rudest fans in the NFL bar none.

  31. nationalmediacansuckit says: Oct 9, 2013 11:33 AM

    @mc321984
    @EJ

    Both of you are wrong, wrong and more wrong. Jags did not opt for the 85% rule. A fact, look it up. I’m not even gonna get into tarp thing b/c it’s been played out at this point and you are just gonna believe what you wanna believe just like everyone else when it relates to the Jags. In the future do me a favor, I don’t know or couldn’t care less about the Bills blackouts or attendance, take my advice and do the same with Jag related topics my friend.

  32. nflfan1326 says: Oct 9, 2013 11:35 AM

    Your reference to the city with free beer is off. The single game tickets in aforementioned city are much higher priced than per game season tickets and since the free beer was limited to just two beers, the single game tickets were still higher even at $10 per beer!

  33. nflfan1326 says: Oct 9, 2013 11:41 AM

    And to posters above, it is non premium seats that count as the blackout number. One cannot use the total capacity to reference blackout ticket numbers. Jags blackout number is 51k, no 85% I might add. Don’t know what Buffalo’s blackout number is because I don’t know the amount of premium seats vs non-premium seats, but I would venture that the blackout number is a little more than 51k.

  34. olhockeypop says: Oct 9, 2013 11:42 AM

    Not easy to fill the Ralph . Thought of getting cheaper tickets but the wife put the hammer down . I got layed off after 23 years on the job { She wants the $ to go to the other Bills’ Heat Mortgage ect . } As have a lot of people I know . Hope a miracle happens if not sit in the garage with my ear pinned to the radio on Sunday .

  35. patriottony says: Oct 9, 2013 11:42 AM

    Can we please have some genuine honesty here?
    You can Tell I’m a PATS Fan,,,even still:

    Tickets face value: 85-400,,,,
    Beers: 8-12 apiece
    Parking: 65-100
    Hotdogs: 8 bucks
    Water: 6.00

    Getting pawed and strip searched “ALA” TSA for the privilege of spending that kind of money…..PRICELESS.

    THE NFL is destroying this sport, and I hope they enjoy the end result.

  36. jpaq68 says: Oct 9, 2013 11:44 AM

    Bills fans are like Charlie Brown and Bills management are like Lucy Van Pelt.
    Every Year Bills management paints a rosy picture of the upcoming season and tells the poor Bills fans that this is going to be their year and they promise that they won’t pull the football away this time.
    Every year the Bills fans believe it and at the beginning of the season are so full of hope (obnoxiously so) and warm LaBatts Blue when they start running towards that football to kick it into the playoffs.
    And every year around the 5th or 6th week of the season, just as the poor Bills fans are about to kick the ball, Bills management yanks it away at the last moment and the poor Bills fans are sent tumbling back into the same bitter hole of drunken despair where they spend every post season.

  37. nflfan1326 says: Oct 9, 2013 11:44 AM

    One other thing, the Jags did not buy any tickets at .34 on the dollar to avoid blackouts last year. And that is according to team president Mark Lamping. So poster above is wrong.

  38. granadafan says: Oct 9, 2013 11:59 AM

    Perhaps this whole thing could be avoided if the NFL ended this archaic and uniquely absurd Blackout rule, ESPECIALLY for taxpayer funded stadiums.

  39. Dogsweat says: Oct 9, 2013 12:01 PM

    Tarp Time!

  40. followme2boston says: Oct 9, 2013 12:01 PM

    I live in Philly and just bought tickets to the game and I am making the seven hour trip to support the good guys in Sunday. Go Bills.

  41. ecnc30 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:04 PM

    ALL Bills games should be blacked out – they are such a joke, as are the Sanres

  42. multiplemiggs says: Oct 9, 2013 12:17 PM

    @captbuff I know everything. im always right. I maxe it one qord for your embarrassment of a franchise. but I am shocked to see some upstate trash knows a little bit of grammar. have fun living out the rest of your life knowing you will never win a championship.

  43. selbyrj82 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:19 PM

    Buffalo last made the playoffs in 1999, the longest actve streak in the NFL. Since that time they have had 1 season above 500 (barely) at 9-7 in 04. Then 2 500 seasons and the rest have been below 500. That makes 10 out of the last 13 years with a losing record. Let’s not forget they are easily the smallest market in the NFL. The city of Buffalo has less than 300,000 residents.

    Based on those factors it’s a mircle they sell out ANY games at all, and yet they do. THe only reason why this game is struggling is because of the QB situation.

    I moved to Buffalo 2 years ago and was not raised a Bills fan. I’ve lived in a few different cities with NFL teams and the Bills fans by far have the most heart given their circumstances. So all of you people who are ignorntly bashing the Bills and their fans just shut up, because you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  44. selbyrj82 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:23 PM

    multiplemiggs says:
    Oct 9, 2013 12:17 PM
    @captbuff I know everything. im always right. I maxe it one qord for your embarrassment of a franchise. but I am shocked to see some upstate trash knows a little bit of grammar. have fun living out the rest of your life knowing you will never win a championship.

    …………………………
    Stay classy, NY area fans. No wonder why everyone in the US outside of the NY metro area thinks that everyone in the NY metro are are a bunch of snobby, misinformed, rude a-holes.

  45. zoxitic says: Oct 9, 2013 12:23 PM

    Win…fans come
    Lose…they dont

    I know Packer fans…you dont count.

  46. captbuff says: Oct 9, 2013 12:37 PM

    multiplemiggs says:
    Oct 9, 2013 12:17 PM
    @captbuff I know everything. im always right. I maxe it one qord for your embarrassment of a franchise. but I am shocked to see some upstate trash knows a little bit of grammar. have fun living out the rest of your life knowing you will never win a championship.

    ——————–

    Jets fan? Was the Nixon administration just like the greatest time of your life? Or the more recent glory days of Mark Sanchez led AFC Championship losses?

    Or Giants fan? About to be 0-6.

  47. ballboy48 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:46 PM

    The excuse that they aren’t winning, shouldn’t matter if you have a loyal fan base. Look at the Browns! They haven’t had a blackout since the early 1990’s, and they have been equally as bad.

  48. jnbnet says: Oct 9, 2013 12:52 PM

    Chargers have about 10,000 tickets to sell to avoid blackout for Monday night game. I find it interesting though that no one challenges the great fans of Buffalo for being bad fans. But if San Diego doesn’t sell out…well then…Chargers fans are just plain bad fans.

    ———————————————
    The Chargers have a much larger fan base.
    The Chargers, as a rule, have much nicer weather for most of the season.

  49. jwil007 says: Oct 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    A blackout with Cincy coming to town?? Come on Buffalo fans we NEVER win in your house…if we do which I hope we do it will be a SHOCK! On top of that we play like high schoolers against rookie QB’s and unknowns…Thad Lewis is probably excited…Stick with the team Bills fans…EJ’s got game..you will only go up from here… Good luck on Sunday! WHO DEY

  50. pooflingingmonkey says: Oct 9, 2013 1:06 PM

    Another reason why the Bills will head to Toronto when Ralph Wilson passes. It’s been in the works for years.

  51. selbyrj82 says: Oct 9, 2013 1:08 PM

    ballboy48 says:
    Oct 9, 2013 12:46 PM
    The excuse that they aren’t winning, shouldn’t matter if you have a loyal fan base. Look at the Browns! They haven’t had a blackout since the early 1990′s, and they have been equally as bad.

    ………………………….
    Cleveland is roughly 50 percent larger than Buffalo- both city for city and metro for metro. lots more people to market ticket sales to.

    Cleveland also didnt have a franchise for a while there in the 90’s- that muddies up the argument. Any city that loves a team it loses will surely make a point to give an extra effort to support it when it comes back.

  52. selbyrj82 says: Oct 9, 2013 1:11 PM

    jnbnet says:
    Oct 9, 2013 12:52 PM
    Chargers have about 10,000 tickets to sell to avoid blackout for Monday night game. I find it interesting though that no one challenges the great fans of Buffalo for being bad fans. But if San Diego doesn’t sell out…well then…Chargers fans are just plain bad fans
    …………………………………
    I dont know what world you live in…..half this thread is Bills fans getting beat up for not supporting their team.

    San Diego is also the 8th largest city in the US, and growing. Buffal isnt even in the top 50 (and population has decrased each census of the last 50 years). Nice try.

  53. leopold332002 says: Oct 9, 2013 4:20 PM

    Fans of the opposing nfl teams please give it up about Jacksonville Jaguars because we’re not going anywhere. I understand ya’ll hate this city because of tarps, bad superbowl experience, small market, and your belove L.A. doesn’t have a NFL team but give give it a rest. We didn’t have a blackout in 3 years and having the stadium renovated next year with the largest scoreboard and party deck. Please, for the love of God people let it go because the Jacksonville Jaguars the keyword Jacksonville are staying home.

  54. collegefan69 says: Oct 9, 2013 6:29 PM

    Fitzpatrick, Edwards, Losman, Bledsoe, Malarkey, Williams, Gailey, Brandon, Nix…the Bills have lost the benefit of the doubt. Put a winner on the field and they’ll be back…but 13 years to turn a ship around is pathetic. Its pretty bad when we look back and think Doug Flutie and Wade Phillips were the last of our glory years

  55. kingcasper says: Oct 10, 2013 6:03 AM

    The Jags are definitely moving….lol

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