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Colts sell out playoff game, thanks to sponsor buying 1,200 tickets

Wild Card Playoffs - New York Jets v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

The NFL has avoided the black eye of a blackout in one of the three cities facing unexpected difficulties when it comes to selling playoff tickets.

The Colts have announced that corporate partner Meijer has purchased the remaining 1,200 non-premium tickets to Saturday’s game against the Chiefs, making it a sellout.  The tickets will be donated to local military families.

It’s not uncommon for teams and sponsors to buy unsold tickets.  During the regular season, those tickets can be purchased for 34 cents on the dollar.  In the postseason, the extra tickets can be bought at full price only.

The Colts had obtained an extended extension through Friday afternoon to sell all remaining non-premium tickets.  The Bengals and Packers have done the same.  Some believe that the league office grants extensions only if a private commitment has been made to purchase any remaining tickets.

If true, it makes the sense of urgency created by the issuance of an extension entirely false.  Unless, of course, there’s a chance that the NFL would give extensions without a commitment that the tickets will be purchased.

Which means that folks in Cincinnati and Green Bay may have to buy tickets in order to see the game.

As to folks in Indy, it’s unclear why there suddenly has been an issue with the purchase of tickets.  It could be that the locals don’t have the same confidence in this edition of the Colts that they had in the teams led by Peyton Manning, which seemed to be serious Super Bowl contenders each and every year.

Which would mean that, despite the signs in the picture accompanying this item, Colts fans really aren’t “all in.”

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62 Responses to “Colts sell out playoff game, thanks to sponsor buying 1,200 tickets”
  1. natelan69 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:33 AM

    Ticket prices.

    As a Chargers fan who has had to endure the stigma that comes with the occasional regular season blackout, I sympathize with Colts fans.

    The NFL keeps pricing themselves out of the market. Even commonfolk have figured out how to use illegal internet feeds as a means to circumvent the league’s insistence on shooting itself in the foot.

  2. richndc says: Jan 3, 2014 10:34 AM

    I really doubt it has anything to do with fans attitudes toward the team, being “all in”. That is a silly notion–par for the course here. It has WAY more to do with the ridiculous price of the tickets, food, parking–and the overall fan experience. I am told the majority of owner revenue is from the TV money. If so, why now lower the price on everything, allow real fans (not corporate flapjacks who do not even watch the game) to experience the game full tilt live–and guess what? It will make for much better TV, having a full stadium of real fans having fun.

  3. crush22 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:35 AM

    Mikey…..give it up already. Always bringing up the Manning thing. Manning didn’t play in Green Bay either….or Cincinnati for that matter. Wake up. It’s an NFL greed thing, not a “Manning / Colts” thing. Your hatred for Irsay reeks of jealously.

  4. tonyugoh says: Jan 3, 2014 10:36 AM

    “As to folks in Indy, it’s unclear why there suddenly has been an issue with the purchase of tickets. It could be that the locals don’t have the same confidence in this edition of the Colts that they had in the teams led by Peyton Manning, which seemed to be serious Super Bowl contenders each and every year.”

    It mainly has to do with the Pacers being a bigger draw right now. As much as I like Luck (he’s great, I have no qualms about him personally), the Colts tend to shield their players more from speaking their minds while with the Pacers, you feel like you know Roy Hibbert and Paul George a little more.

  5. cletusvandam says: Jan 3, 2014 10:37 AM

    While it’s true that Colts fan are some of the worst bandwagon jumpers in sports and everyone knows this team is one and done in the playoffs I think the real problem with selling the tickets is they doubled the price on most of them for this game.

  6. Gordon says: Jan 3, 2014 10:38 AM

    The issue is pretty simple. It costs too damn much to go to a game.

  7. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jan 3, 2014 10:39 AM

    That’s how the Donkeys have been ‘selling out’ their home games for years.

  8. ravensterps says: Jan 3, 2014 10:39 AM

    There’s really no excuse for not selling out a playoff game. As a Ravens fan, I would probably kill to get playoff tickets at face value. It’s impossible here.

  9. gotmygameon says: Jan 3, 2014 10:39 AM

    Kansas City fans are “all in”. My guess is the “sea of red” will show loud and proud in Indy. More red in the crowd than blue!!

  10. therealbleedcoltsblue says: Jan 3, 2014 10:40 AM

    I think the slow ticket sales have more to do with the state of the economy in Indiana (especially right after Christmas) moreso than Manning not being at the helm.

    We are….

    #AllIn

    #ColtsStrong

  11. stoutfiles says: Jan 3, 2014 10:41 AM

    Which would mean that, despite the signs in the picture accompanying this item, Colts fans really aren’t “all in.”

    Or, it could mean that many people can’t afford two tickets, parking, concessions, gas, etc. Going to games is expensive and it keeps getting more expesnive. Stop giving fans crap for not paying a small fortune to go to a game.

  12. bigal5654 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:42 AM

    IU basketball home game at 2pm
    Colts game 4:30pm
    Pacers home game at 7pm

    Can only be at one and the other two were scheduled long ago.

  13. nfloracle says: Jan 3, 2014 10:42 AM

    Lower the prices so the working man and woman can actually afford them if you want sell-outs. This is basic economics versus unconscionable greed on the part of the NFL and its billionaire owners.

  14. indywilson40 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:44 AM

    If spending hundreds of dollars to sit in the rafters, park, eat and drink means i’m not all in, then i’m not all in. If sitting on my couch and watching on a big screen with all my friends and cheering like crazy means i’m a bad fan, then i’m a bad fan.

  15. dbeehner says: Jan 3, 2014 10:51 AM

    Seahawks playoff tickets sold out in less than a half hour after going on sale.

    And Hawk haters in 3-2-1 ….

  16. primenumber19 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:51 AM

    Andrew luck should be smart enough to leave Indy when his contract runs out.

  17. fergumx says: Jan 3, 2014 10:51 AM

    As a season ticket holder I couldn’t afford to drop 40% of what the cost of my season tickets are for one home playoff game and the potential for a second if the 6th seed makes the AFC title game. Especially since the deadline was two weeks before Christmas.

    Even Chief fans aren’t buying up the tickets. The Chiefs just returned 300 tickets to the Colts once the sellout was announced.

    We already pay full price for preseason so why should 2 playoff games cost the same as 4 regular season. Just not right.

  18. heeeeelzfan says: Jan 3, 2014 10:54 AM

    The owner missed out on an opportunity to buy all of the tickets and donate them to charity. He’s only made gazillions while this franchise has been in Indianapolis.

  19. raiderufan says: Jan 3, 2014 10:55 AM

    I think I’m gonna buy myself a nice premium 12 pack….

    I’ll get my wife a bottle of wine…

    Get the stuff to make some nachos for the family…

    Pay my cable bill…

    ….and spend roughly $300 less then a single ticket would cost me to go to a playoff game.

    I’ll take the warmth of my home, in front of my flat screen with good views of every play and drink my 12 pack that cost me as much as 1 beer at a game and love every second of it.

    Going to live games now is a waste of time and money.

  20. indytom87 says: Jan 3, 2014 10:59 AM

    Way to go Meijer!

  21. riverhorsey says: Jan 3, 2014 11:00 AM

    Going from a black out to a red out !

  22. tvjules says: Jan 3, 2014 11:06 AM

    This is about a lot of people being tapped out after Christmas. And those that aren’t, had already purchased IU and Pacers tickets, who also play on Saturday. The NFL should have made this the early Sunday game.

  23. 5against1 says: Jan 3, 2014 11:07 AM

    I’ve been a Colts season ticket holder since the Mayflower arrived. I chose not to purchase my playoff tix. The Colts (as do some other teams) require season ticket holders to purchase 2 games worth of playoff tickets. Not much of a chance we’ll see a 2nd game in Lucas Oil, and adding the extra game right now (at higher than reg season price) was just too much for me right now. I know quite a few season ticket holders who are in the same position I am right now. A week after Christmas, it’s just too much money. Bash me all you want, you won’t find a more diehard fan of any team than me, but I have bills too.

  24. balldawk says: Jan 3, 2014 11:13 AM

    These are playoff games we’re talking about. These fan bases should be ashamed of themselves. Philadelphia sold out in 3 minutes just as any other strong fan base would/should.

  25. bengalguy says: Jan 3, 2014 11:21 AM

    Kreoger bought up all the Cincinnati tix and are giving 2 to every active military person that comes to a store w/ valid Military ID.
    So they will sell out as well. Nice gesture on Kreoger’s part.

  26. wwwmattcom says: Jan 3, 2014 11:24 AM

    Pathetic

  27. hardrockfootballfanatic says: Jan 3, 2014 11:36 AM

    I never thought Indy was a great football town. Yes it sold out during the Manning years (for many seasons playing in the smallest stadium). Indy is more of a front-running town when it comes to football. This Colts team is exciting to watch and for the last two years have sort of overachieved. When it comes to crowds, there is a big difference between a sellout because it is fashionable to come to the game and a true football crowd. Go to a Kansas City Chiefs game even when they are bad. Those are true fans there. The weather isn’t the factor to me. The cost of a ticket and the behavior of some “fans” is my issue. Also, I hate to say this because I prefer pro football to the college game, but the NFL gameday atmosphere is so corporate. Where are all the team chants and the league would be wise to do like Baltimore does and bring back team bands, etc and put a little more college pizazz into the experience for fans who are paying tons of money to go a game. Shoot, the Detriot Lions (and a few others) don’t even have cheerleaders and Detriot plays in a dome. The St.Louis Rams crowd has no vibe either because that is more of a baseball town. The league needs to address their ticket prices.

  28. milliondollardream2 says: Jan 3, 2014 11:36 AM

    I love my team (Chiefs), but if one of our home playoff games was blacked out I would be all about doing something to protest. Hopefully if that happens the fans get angry enough to boycott watching games on TV, buying team gear, going to games, etc.

    Don’t bite the hands that feed.

  29. draftazoid says: Jan 3, 2014 11:39 AM

    Looks like the buses should get ready to move the Colts AGAIN!
    Karma?

  30. jimfix says: Jan 3, 2014 11:47 AM

    There are a lot of factors:
    -already sold out pacers home game at the same time.
    -already sold out IU v. MSU game at home.
    -ticket prices.
    -the KC matchup isn’t exactly a sexy game to sell. In fact, the drive isn’t that bad between KC and Indy, you have to wonder why some KC fans weren’t jumping on the available tickets, right?
    -the team’s insistence that season ticket holders buy an all playoff ticket package instead of just one game at a time.
    -the fact that no one knew what day or time the game would be until less than a week before the game.

    Of course you could have, like, done a simple google search to find this out, but yeah, take a cheap shot at colts fans. It’s easier I guess.

    If this means Colts fans aren’t real fans, are Green Bay fans not “real” fans? I thought they were one of the greatest fanbases in sports?

  31. jcjaguar says: Jan 3, 2014 11:47 AM

    I better not hear any Colts fans ripping Jags fans for attendance!

  32. mahimike says: Jan 3, 2014 11:54 AM

    These towns should have their teams fight for a move to LA. Tickets to the Colts game could be bought for less than $100. And I don’t wanna hear how cold it is in Cincy or Green Bay.

    It’s the playoffs!

  33. charlie2254 says: Jan 3, 2014 11:57 AM

    Bunch of pansys. The “tickets are too expensive and I dont have enough money to support my eating habit at the stadium” excuses are pathetic. Its not like Philly has a bunch of rich ballers going to the games. Real fans show up. Thats the bottom line.

  34. Punk says: Jan 3, 2014 12:04 PM

    I can only speak for myself. But as a Colts fan living outside of Indianapolis I did not consider buying a playoff ticket because it was unclear until last night what the weather would do. I was not about to buy a ticket to a game I may or may not be able to drive to.

  35. Punk says: Jan 3, 2014 12:07 PM

    You can be just as much a fan at a local bar or on your couch than at the stadium.

    There are these posts implying you aren’t a real fan unless you are a stadium. You know you said that, you know you are wrong.

  36. whoplayswhere38 says: Jan 3, 2014 12:07 PM

    Thanks Meijer!! Thanks Kroger in Cincinnati!!

    Solid display of corporate citizenship.

  37. tmb333 says: Jan 3, 2014 12:12 PM

    All these opinions on whether a city has true fans and if it is a football town. I love the NFL but I also understand that many people just don’t have the money to spend to attend a game in person. Does that make them a lesser fan, hell no. Some folks are smart enough to not go in debt to attend an NFL game.

    Weather makes a difference too. Just because you think fans should sit in the cold does not make you right. Some fans really believe they influence the outcome of games. They might influence a handful of plays if they are loud enough but even that doesn’t matter. Do you really think the players try harder because more fans are there. If that is their motivation, they are in the wrong profession.

    NFL is overpriced. It is also subsidized by the same fans that cannot afford to attend a game in person, chose not to attend or have no interest in attending. The black rule is crap. If you want to blackout non sellouts, then don’t take taxpayer money.

    I have the money and would never waste it on attending an overpriced game when I can enjoy it better in HD at home and not deal with drunks, overpriced parking and concessions. If they want fans to show up, lower some costs to create demand. If the prices were right the demand would be equal to the supply.

  38. ravc82 says: Jan 3, 2014 12:16 PM

    Ticket price I think is a bogus issue. Playoffs have ALWAYS been right after Christmas and there have always been competing markets.

    It has to do with the market areas- last year Colts AT Baltimore- sold out easily.

    Bengals AT Houston- no headlines there either.

    Below 8 degrees at Green Bay- I kind of understand but no one questions that fan base.

    Be proud of your team- man-up and go. I wish my boys had made it but I do not get to enjoy that privilege this year. Others that do- no excuses.

  39. jdubkc says: Jan 3, 2014 12:17 PM

    1200 empty seats

  40. playgroundlgnd says: Jan 3, 2014 12:47 PM

    In other news.. us Browns fans continue to sell out our stadium despite our terminal ineptitude. Appreciate your teams people.. if the browns had a playoff game they would be selling space in the lake just to look at the stadium

  41. cheapglazers says: Jan 3, 2014 12:47 PM

    I heard the NFL is registered as a nonprofit organization and has cities donate stadiums to them.

  42. kim5023 says: Jan 3, 2014 12:51 PM

    It is really unfair to blame the fans. Ticket prices are outrageous. Factor in parking, etc. you are looking at $150+ for two people to go to the game. Then fans get penalized by the blackout rule. I understand stadiums need to be filled but make it a bit more affordable.

  43. Punk says: Jan 3, 2014 12:53 PM

    I was reading through these posts…. I am thinking that people who live on the coasts are clueless to the plight of the Midwest.

  44. corkspop says: Jan 3, 2014 12:55 PM

    You are in the playoffs and can’t sell out a game???? Panthers sold out in 3 minutes.

  45. rmfields says: Jan 3, 2014 12:58 PM

    TheNFL blackout rule has got to be one of the most greed-driven, out of date, worthless, dumb, idiotic, least-thought-out idea ever in the history of professional sports.

  46. swinbun says: Jan 3, 2014 1:08 PM

    And to those posting “Tickets were only $100 for the game” – those weren’t the ones that didn’t sell………..

  47. drhenning says: Jan 3, 2014 1:20 PM

    For most NFL teams not named Cowboys, ticket sales are a fraction of the revenue teams make.. TV money dwarfs and is mostly the same for every team from the smallest to largest..

    There’s a difference between season tickets and playoff games… ST’s are planned for by most folks of more modest means and can fit a family budget… Playoff games are marked up by the NFL at a higher rate than any other major sport. And there’s no blackmail blackouts in those other sports…

  48. granadafan says: Jan 3, 2014 1:21 PM

    No other sport in the world requires sell outs in order to broadcast games. The NFL receives BILLIONS from networks to show games, yet still has a ridiculous rule which censors local TV markets from watching games.

  49. rabidboy says: Jan 3, 2014 1:41 PM

    Three games having trouble selling-out for a playoff matchup and circus ringmaster Goodell wants to expand the playoff teams to 14.

    Keep the insanity comin’, NFL.

  50. mommy2jasx2 says: Jan 3, 2014 1:47 PM

    As a season ticket holder I paid for my tickets way in advance and had no questions if I would pay it or not. I believe in Blue!!!!

    Has anyone on here even looked at the weather forecast for this weekend in Indiana???? Just wondering because I am positive that may have impacted a lot of people’s plans for whatever they were going to do.

    I AM COLTSTRONG! BRING THE NOISE!!!

  51. jeffhr4 says: Jan 3, 2014 2:02 PM

    Wow. Thanks you Meijer. However. Who really gives a crap. Watch it on free TV or not at all. Seriously. Go for a walk, read to your kids, etc..

  52. jeffhr4 says: Jan 3, 2014 2:07 PM

    Not saying that I am not a fan, and that seeing my team play is not important. It is just that the monopoly of my team by corporations is not a good thing. I want to see my team play. Just can’t afford it.

  53. baltimoresnativeson says: Jan 3, 2014 2:09 PM

    This is horse crap, the eagles sold out fast so don’t give me any crap about the economy.

  54. afcdomination says: Jan 3, 2014 2:12 PM

    no need for fans to get defensive. when GREEN BAY, the place where when I grew up, my dad would tell me about a waiting list that goes back to your grandparents, doesn’t sell out….there is a problem with the price of the product

    during holiday season a lot of gifts are given, money spent. but the NFL has accidently priced itself out of the gift market. its too expensive, people don’t want to give 330 dollar gifts.

    so much blame on the owners, yet I sit back and watch qb’s who have won no super bowl, have won no MVP, OPOY, or any major award, receiving over 120 million and 50 guarenteeed, there is also a problem with the players and how much they make which forces a rise In ticket prices

  55. thepedestrianoff says: Jan 3, 2014 3:15 PM

    There’s no justification for a blackout rule. Congress should end it. People who couldn’t go anyway are being punished and they have helped this team exist through the taxes and other support they can afford.

  56. aldante66 says: Jan 3, 2014 3:41 PM

    It sure is a dam good thing your Pres got you that cheap health care to help save the day so you could afford to buy those season tickets and playoff tickets.
    This talk of people finding out their health care plans have gone way way way up is just a conservative mouthpiece trying to stir up trouble. Another Bush.

  57. aldante66 says: Jan 3, 2014 3:45 PM

    the average season ticket holder, GB or not, cannot pay for tickets to two possibly playoff games that may or may not happen and then have that money go towards next years season tickets if it doesn’t happen.
    Not too many people can give their team owners a nice loan for 8 months and a guarantee they will be back next year. That is BS and that’s what the fans are boycotting.

  58. indywilson40 says: Jan 3, 2014 3:55 PM

    Yeah, i’m sure the Panthers did sell out in 5 minutes. They get to the playoffs about as often as we see Halley’s comet.

  59. michellemison says: Jan 3, 2014 4:27 PM

    There are legitimate reasons why the tickets didn’t get snapped up:

    -IU Basketball home game at 2pm and Pacers home game at 7pm already sold out–impossible to go to the Colts game if you have tickets to either of these games.

    -Current weather/temperatures in Indy make it very difficult for fans to travel to the game–we have a winter storm and subzero temps hitting us that night!

    -The cheapest tickets sold out already, which has made it impossible for many Colts fans to afford the game so soon after Christmas (my husband and I just spent $400 to go to last weekend’s game, and couldn’t afford another $400 so soon after).

    Props to Meijer for buying the remaining tickets and donating them to military families!

  60. cztikhldr4evr says: Jan 3, 2014 6:26 PM

    Looking at most of these post. I would guess 95% posting here have never been to a NFL game unless the ticket was given to them, so don’t be ragging on season ticket holders for not buying playoff tickets, unless you have bought tickets with your own hard earn money.

  61. jiminauburn says: Jan 3, 2014 9:19 PM

    Instead of going to the game we will go out and buy a new big screen tv and watch it form home. Will cost the same amount of money, and as a bonus, we will have a new big screen tv.

  62. jiminauburn says: Jan 3, 2014 9:22 PM

    The game would not be blacked out if Obama got congress to pass a law that everyone must attend at least one playoff game each year or pay a tax.

    Completely legal and constitutional according to SCOTUS.

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