League says season-ticket sales are now down

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Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal recently reported NFL owners were informed at a meeting in Indianapolis that season-ticket sales surprisingly were ahead of the 2010 pace, despite the lockout.

Per Kaplan, the league now claims that the sales are behind last year’s numbers.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy explained to Kaplan that the sales figures shared with the owners applied only through May 6.  When adjusting the totals through May 31, the numbers have dropped.  McCarthy also said that renewals of suites and club seats “have slowed to a crawl.”

The league apparently is trying to counter, as Kaplan explains it, criticism of teams for “cutting back and laying off and furloughing employees” at a time when sales were actually up.

But the new figures don’t make the situation any better, in our view.  The NFL has been planning to lock out the players for years.  Why not also plan to take care of the folks caught in the middle?  Last year, in the final year of the labor deal, teams were able to set aside plenty of money thanks to the absence of a salary floor and the disappearance of various types of player benefits.  They teams should have set some of that money aside to help pay the employees who are now feeling the pain for a wound they didn’t inflict.

To the extent that the cuts are merely part of some broader effort to demonstrate that the teams are suffering during the lockout, then it’s one of the dumbest P.R. efforts we’ve ever seen.  This isn’t a recession or some other external hardship.  The NFL has brought this financial crisis on itself in an effort to get a bigger piece of the revenue pie from the players.  Thus, the only team officials who fairly should be losing any money as a result of the lockout are the owners.

44 responses to “League says season-ticket sales are now down

  1. They were up and now they are down……….go figure it never looks good from a negotiation standpoint to have to tell the plaintiff Ummm yeah we are raking in the cash this year, but you need to take a pay cut! LOL

    Get a deal done.

  2. Hey, swiftus, they DID try to plan. Remember that 4 billion the players blocked? Yeah, that was the owners lockout fund. Much like the players
    Lockout fund they have een saving in dues for two years. Except theirs was not blocked by
    Judge dooty.

  3. Btw I am one of those drops in numbers. I canceled my season tickets in late may. All the recent news has made me VERY glad I did it.

  4. The owners have become real idiots. I dont know if its a simple solution but they want to split billions of $ and nobody wants to budge… why not just sign a 10 contract and every even year the owners get 60% the players 40% then switch it on odd years. That way everybody gets their money evenly. Your going to tell me that a Lawyer and players couldnt think that one up?

    Such selfish bastards!!!

  5. I can’t believe that people don’t want to spend hard earned money in bad economical times for a ticket to games that may not happen this season. I am befuddled…

  6. You damn owners are so detached from “real Americans” you’ll probably end up cursing the fans for not selling out your stadiums, won’t you?

    At a time when people are being laid off for overseas jobs and the National debt is rising and Obamacare is going to become a reality you fat bastards are gonna put more people (people who work in the industry that supports the NFL) in financial hardship just so you can buy that extra yacht or $2 million mansion on the beach.

    Make a compromise with the players, we beg of you.

    No man wants to see this war continue. You’re already going to lose money from lack of interest in the game which will trickle into less merchandise being sold as well as possibly fewer advertising $$.

    Don’t do it for the players, do it for the average Joe’s who are out there selling your gear, feeding your audience at games, keeping your facilities in great condition and promoting the heck out of this game that we all love.

    “The less reasonable a cult is, the more men seek to establish it by force”
    —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  7. Way to go PFT…. bang this drum loud and long enough for it to be heard by all.

    Although I’m hoping the war will be won by the owners (to keep the game the way it is).

    I’m hoping the smaller battles they are fighting, will be won or lost on their own merit.

    In this instance the Glazers have/will be, below salary cap floor for as long as they can get away with it….. the team employees didn’t ask for this fight and are merely pawns.

    It’s bad form for the owners to make those who are the smallest part of their annual expenses, pay for the brunt (and immediate impact) of their stubborness.

    Get ’em Mike…. and don’t let up, till you receive a satisfactory answer, or better yet, have them change their ways.

  8. So does this mean I could lose my tickets of 50 years because I don’t front money for a season I view will never happen?

    They should be barred from SELLING season tickets right now. Criminal.

  9. No surprise. At this point of the year, renewals have already been taken care of. Most people renew because they don’t want to lose the seats they’ve had for years. Right now, there is little motivation to buy new tickets to something that might not even happen. If my seats weren’t near the front of the price section I’m in, I would have let them lapse and made a decision when the season is actually confirmed to happen.

  10. The owners planned on having BILLIONS in TV money during the lockout warming their pockets but the judge ruled against letting them hold onto that money! So the owners miss out on billions & pass along the pain by taking peanuts away from the office peons who work for the teams & the league.

  11. I called Directv and cancelled my NFL Sunday Ticket.

    Can’t wait to hear numbers on how many people did that too.

  12. I feel sorry for anyone who has already paid.

    The PSL owners must feel really duped.

    Not cool.

  13. They got bad PR when it was revealed that sales were up, now they’re spinning that they’re down.

    As usual, the ham-fisted blundering of the NFL owners continues when it comes to PR.

  14. What the heck does the NFL or the players think will happen as a result of a lock out!?!? I am a die hard NFL fan and will watch as much as I did prior to the lock out after it ends. Regardless, the NFL and players deserve whatever negative publicity or lost revenues result from the lock out during this terrible economic time in which not only the employees (not players) of the teams, but also the business owners and employees of the surrounding areas and ultimately all businesses who support them are and will suffer!! This is a selfish move on both ends and it is unbelievably sad that nothing has been resolved yet. Shame on the NFL and shame on the players! They all deserve less money because of this crap!

  15. @thomas2727 DirecTV has stated that they won’t charge a dime until the lockout ends, and will adjust accordingly if the season is reduced. So there’s no need to call and cancel and potentially miss out on renewal savings.

  16. Well, they had better hurry just a little, because if they think the fans are going to back them if they miss just one game they are sadly mistaken. I predict that the fans WILL revolt if these jackasses don’t soon wake up!!! Would you like to bet on it De Mo and Roger?

  17. Maybe De and Roger can talk to De’s buddy in the White House during a round of golf and get a bail-out and some economic stimulus. Throw in a couple new stadiums and everybody is happy.

  18. He once created a lockout just to see how long it lasts! Stay thirsty my friends!

  19. You can thank America’s favorite jack ass Jerry Jones… and Robert Kraft, Jerry Richard… why would anyone want to buy anything these three stoogies sell.

    The rest of the owners should really think about cancelling games on 9/11. Americans remember that football brought us peace of mind a decade ago as the smoke and rebel still burned… if games get cancelled over greed I predict these owners wouldn’t be able to give away tickets.

    It might be good that fans start putting football in perspective.

  20. If the owners change their figures with the way the wind blows, who can blame the players for not taking the owners reported figures at their word? I wouldn’t take their word for it either. In light of this, an independent look into the books doesn’t seem so outrageous.

  21. You know the more stuff that comes out about just how incompetent the owners and Goodell are at trying to spin their side of things to the fans and the media, the more Im convinced that the real idiots here are the owners because they have chosen to follow the lead of a totally incompetent commissioner who just might singlehandedley ruin the honeypot.

  22. well just wait till Nov-DEC when the owners start to miss those huge rent payments on OUR stadiums (ours because the tax payers pay for most of it, the owners throw in 30% and call it “theirs”). i say no games we boot the tenants! start up new teams that are public held like the Packers and rid ourselves of all these greedy s.o.bs

  23. I predict an unexplained surge in ticket sales once they put a date on the new season.

    ALSO, I wonder if teams will refund fans who bought tickets for lost games. I would not put it past the league to not do that.

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