All three Florida teams facing blackouts


It’s a given that some, most, or all of the Buccaneers’ 2011 home games won’t be televised locally.  The Jaguars once again are in jeopardy of having their games blacked out in their home market, too.

So why not go for the Trifecta?

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins are facing blackouts in 2011.  The team currently has a streak of 102 straight regular-season sellouts, dating back to 1998 and somehow covering all of the post-Marino era, including the 1-15 season of 2007.

Most immediately, Salguero reports that 13,000 tickets remain unsold for the Week Two game against the Texans.  Per Salguero, three other regular-season games (Bills, Broncos, Redskins) may not be televised locally, based on the current pace of ticket sales.

The Cowboys a/k/a America’s Team make a preseason trip to Sun Life Stadium on Thursday night, but that national following wasn’t enough to sell all of the non-premium seats.  (The two teams play during the regular season, but in Dallas, not Miami.)

It’s a problem that will require a more creative fix than having goofy, one-time promotions, like a reunion of the 2009 Florida Gators.  And it’s a topic into which I’ll delve in further detail during today’s PFT Live.

62 responses to “All three Florida teams facing blackouts

  1. Miami is a terrible sports town. A small hard core group of fans and a massive amount of “front runners”. If the Dolphins want to fill the stadium it is easy-just start winning!

  2. Seeing as there were 347 (not a typo) in attendance for the Reds/Marlins game last week, I think there is more to the equation than America’s Team coming to town.

    By the way, is it not time to drop the Americas Team moniker from the Cowboys?

  3. Make the games affordable and they will come. Maybe a “Child” ticket so some of the kids can go witness a game without their family having to be loaded.

  4. Maybe the NFL should raise ticket prices even more and then run promotions where you buy three $10 beers and only receive 2????

  5. Let’s move them all to L.A. That seems to be the answer to everything right?

    Personally I think the age of parity has brought about a bad quality of football.

  6. Fins tickets can be had for like $25 a seat and Marlins tickets for as little as $9. Granted they aren’t great seats. Still.

  7. Who want’s to sit up in the third tier of the stadiums @ $90 a ticket where it’s pushing 90+ degrees paying $4.50 for water and $7.00 for a soon-to-be-warm beer ? The NFL needs to get with reality. Golden tickets they are not.

  8. Maybe the NFL and NFLPA will pay attention to this next time they fight over money.

    The fans can’t afford to be ripped off over practice games and if this carries over the regular season, I hope they address this in a constructive way.

  9. The Bengals are asking $72 for upper level seats to go see THAT mess of a team play. Are you kidding me?!

    The impact of cheap big screen tv’s, HDTV, and outrageous parking and concession prices are a much bigger threat to NFL game attendance than they care to admit. It has nothing to do with winning records, big stars on the field etc, it’s a basic economic decision for many NFL fans.

  10. When will the NFL realize this is an NFL problem that needs NFL solutions.

    What have they done in the face of this recession for the fans?

    Absolutely nothing.

  11. The FL economy is as bad or worse than any states in the US. Real estate is not getting better and there are no jobs. The Bucs sold out every game from 1998 to 2009. Makes sense that lack of ticket sales correlates with the economic situation. When that comes back around people will be able to afford these types of luxuries and Raymond James will be sold out again.

  12. “The Jaguars once again are in jeopardy of having their games blacked out in their home market, too.”

    Really. Just b/c you repeat the same blah, blah, blah will never make it true. The labor agreement was just reached a 3-4 weeks ago and fans are being demonized as the bad guys. So fans are suppose to drop everything, scrap up money that they probably spent on something else since no one knew if there was going to be a season. Really.

    By the way, Jaguars ZERO blackouts in 2010. Facts don’t lie.

  13. I am a bucs season ticket holder luckily they did the payment plan so i could get my one ticket. I went to the game and no wonder why nobody goes after parking buying a couple things for tailgating and the 7 dollar 12 ounce beers i spent 100 dollars at the game and 79 on ticket. $179 dollars to go watch a preseason game and sit in the upper section how could a family even think about going at that price not to mention the gas for the hour one way trip. I could have bought a keg of beer invited 20 friends over and cooked prime rib for dinner at my house for that price

  14. I think it’s funny that this place considers itself a “football” town. They can’t even keep the road teams fans out in the playoffs, Baltimore came in with 40K in the first round in ’08.

    Fan Up, Miami!

  15. If I lived in Miami or Tampa Bay, I don’t think I’d blow a beautiful Sunday watching football either. More to life..just saying.

    And it’s not like sending kids back to school is cheap these days. And smart people are already preparing for Christmas. Each $45-$90 ticket is one or two nice gifts.

    We live in a time where most of us have to make hard choices.

  16. And while we’re lowering ticket prices let’s get rid of the black out rule. How much sense does this make: Not enough people are buying my product, so what I’ll do is take it off TV so it gets even less exposure! Brilliant!

  17. As a diehard Bucs fan and season ticket holder that lives in Jacksonville, i drive a total of 6 hrs on gamedays back and forth to Tampa for home games. All i hear is that games are too expensive and they need to lower prices, guess what, they did! For all those saying its the Economy, your full of it, the $35 seats for opening day are still not sold out! $35 SEATS! On top of that the team announced that ALL concessions are 1/2 price for opening day! I park for $10 every game about 200 yards away from the east side of the stadium off Himes Blvd, cant get much closer. The truth is that outside of the 45k season tix holders this year, the rest of Tampa is just an awful, hypocritical, lazy sports town. If youre one of the 12% unemployed then fine you have an excuse, but the other 80+% dont. And those 80% should b more than enough to fill that stadium. Theres no rule saying that you have to bring your whole family of 7 or even buy anything from the concession stands, eat before you go. The people who complain about blackouts but dont buy a SINGLE ticket all year dont have any right to, you made your bed, lie in it. Ill be there screamin and cheering for the most exciting young team in the league, GO BUCS!

  18. “Make the games affordable and they will come”

    Only the elite can afford to take the stereotypical “family of four” to an NFL game anymore. The NFL really should dump their outdated rule about blackouts. It doesn’t make people come to the games. There is always a certain element of the population who will go to the games anyway. If the NFL is so worried about empty seats then maybe they should give them away for free. Just raise the ante on the TV contracts.

  19. Black them out then, most of us have the red zone. Going to games in this economy is irresponsible, unless of course you paid all your bills and put some away for savings. These owners need to tighten their belts and realize we are broke.

    I have a family of three (including myself) and it would cost me over $200 to go to a game, that’s plain rediculous and frankly not worth it. Especially when I can watch it from the comfort of my home with my beer, my food minus the brainless idiots spilling beer and cussing in front of my daughter.

  20. Maybe they can get the tax payers to build them new stadiums. I’m sure that would work.
    Or maybe they could just use one stadium and play doubleheaders.

  21. Strange as it may sound, none of these recession issues are going to go away until the USA is on level wage scales with India, China, and Brazil. I know politics is unpopular here on this blog, and rightly so. But our recession is not going to end until we stop bleeding jobs to those countries. And we will only stop bleeding jobs when our CEO’s pay the same cost for labor here as there. Global arbitrage in jobs is the unrelenting cause of the recession. And it even impacts our hallowed traditions, like football.

  22. The stadium stinks, the team stinks, the head coach REALLY stinks, and team management stinks!!!! Why would anybody waste there money on the mullets!!!

  23. Hmm. TVs get bigger screens, better sound and programming like Red Zone while stadiums struggle to fill up on the bogus needs to be re-visited anti trust violating blackout rule.

    If the blackout rule must remain in place then at least cut the time down to 24 hours since the advent of the computer and internet has eliminated the need to go to the stadium ticket window to purchase the ticket.

    This is what you get when an outcome is engineered by legal edict. Let the free market decide on the balance between ticket price and number of tickets sold. The league stands for greed…to its detriment.

  24. I found this interesting tidbit about the Jags on the ESPN website:

    —-I just talked with Tim Connolly, the team’s vice president of business development, and asked him to spell out what constitutes a sellout in the rules regarding blackouts.

    He said that number is 50,000, calling it “the general bowl.” There are between 14,000 and 15,000 premiums seats as well — suites, terrace suites and club seats. For the league’s blackout purposes, 11,000 of those are “club seats” and do not count against the blackout total.

    There are other wrinkles with the numbers there, obviously, since the 50,000 general bowl number plus the league’s 11,000 club seats still don’t get us to capacity.

    But for our purposes, 50,000 is the key number. If the Jags can get there, they get on TV. If they can’t, they don’t.”

    So when the Jag fans talk about sell outs which avoided a blackout, they really mean they got 50k into their 67k seat stadium.

  25. we needs jobs & those who have jobs had to take pay cuts. plus, many have moved from this messed up state

  26. recon163–You are correct that the blackout is based on general bowl…However, if you add the club seats (which at Everbank Field are the 10000 seats on the 50 yard line–most are filled)..That brings the total up to 60,0000. I think all blackouts at all stadiums are based on general bowl seating….The thing about the Jaguars is that they have chosen to be transparent about their ticket situation…Not sure other NFL teams are doing that…but once again, if other teams are blacked out it’s the economy…If the Jags have to face blackouts it’s because they have bad fans….You can’t have it both ways!!

  27. Anyone who pays to go watch the NFL in person is a moron these days. Buy yourself a 70″ HD LED TV, a lot of booze, a nice big room in your house for you, your family, and your friends, a BIG TIME BBQ, and Direct TV Sunday Ticket. Have your bookie and fantasy fb league pulled up on your notebook PC and I GUARANTEE you it will be the BEST Sunday of NFL you have ever had and for 17 weeks at a good price. NFL rules television, Major League Baseball rules ticket sales. They both STINK the other way.

  28. Astute readers saw that oh so subtle correction..From two trips to SunLife to ne…..Credibilty, or actually checking the schedule might help

  29. “recon163 says:
    Aug 30, 2011 11:01 AM
    So when the Jag fans talk about sell outs which avoided a blackout, they really mean they got 50k into their 67k seat stadium.”

    Who has ever said otherwise? It’s the same as every other team in the league.

  30. Sorry, lots more important things for people to spend their money on that going to a sporting event. If you’re unemployed, unless the tickets are free including free parking and concessions, you aren’t going.

  31. why dont these teams actually inform the fans of how many seats are left to reach a sell out. I am sure if they tell the public there only 5000 short than a couple people talk there buddies into going and magically its a sell out. im a bucs season ticket holder and the steelers and falcons game sure did look like a sell out to me maybe 1000 short they could have easily sold that if they let us know they were that close. have an online talley on the teams website of how many tickets per game remain. local sports radio will start getting involved and it would help. wait i should trademark this

  32. recon163 says:
    “So when the Jag fans talk about sell outs which avoided a blackout, they really mean they got 50k into their 67k seat stadium.”

    That’s news to me. Every post that I’ve ever read by a Jaguar fan it’s always read “no blackouts”. There’s not one Jag fan that doesn’t know our ticket situation. You’d would have to be pretty ignorant to think that every game was a complete sellout last season every though we had zero blackouts. You’d also have to be the same if one were to believe that all other 31 team are completely selling out in this economy.

    Look here’s the deal. As the post above reads, the Jaguars have been completely transparent on their website with tickets starting after 17K cancelled season tickets right when economy went belly up in 2008-09. 17K season ticket holders just don’t cancel tickets for no other reason. I realize everyone hates Jax, but the economy excuse works in every other market except Jax. Especially when that was the main reason a vast majority of those 17K said was why the cancelled.(lost job, moving b/c of lost job, etc.) Besides do the math, 50K +17K=67K(stadium capacity)

    No other team has those numbers on their website and if they did doesn’t it make sense that 50, 957(which is Jag number to avoid blackout) that all the other 8-9 teams with tickets issue are right around that vacinity.

    Bottomline, does Jax have ticket problems? Yes. After losing 17K season ticket holders what do you expect. The media portrays it as if Jax is the ONE and ONLY team in the history of the NFL to ever have ticket issue and blackouts. People hate the Jax and the Jaguars and that’s fine. Personally I could care less about the other 31 teams in the league. We have passionate fans just like other citys, but the media has told a different story. Jaguar fans just want the media to at least report the facts instead of slanting stories to fit agendas and demonizing a city and fanbase. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

  33. The NFL teams have brought this issue on themselves. They geared away from the common fan and towards the corporate fan. Companies buy large lots of tickets and let their big-shots, clients, and an occasional employee go to the game. When the NFL realized that was happening, they started to raise the prices while they courted individual corporations. Now that there is a bad economy the corporations are not doing that anymore. The average fans are being asked to take up the slack but there are several factors preventing it. Prices, drunk b@st@rds, hooligans roaming the parking lots, concession prices, parking fees, traffic, etc.

    Economic times are an issue and many people rightly value necessities more than entertainment. The HDTV experience is good and cheap. So is heading out to the local sports bar to watch your game and keep an eye on all the others. The NFL left a bad taste in fans’ mouths fromhow both sides handled their squabble over our money. I think they should eliminate all blackouts this year.

  34. Jeff2380 The Jaguars do post the # of tickets needed to be sold to avoid a blackout…It’s called transparency. Most teams do not do this…We had no blackouts last year, and this was part of the reason. Things are a bit tougher this year…but at least we know where we stand.


    Whatever happened to supply & demand? I love the Dolphins but I’m not paying those prices to watch this team, sorry. It’s so expensive now its beyond just a hobby.

    In high school economics they taught us companies lower prices if demand isn’t there. I’m still waiting to see this happen. In fact I’m still waiting for my pay to return to pre-2008 levels, from which I’ve also noticed NFL prices NEVER decreased commensurately with our earnings during that time.

  36. Gee, do I want to watch on TV for free, or pay $100 for cheap seats where I can’t see the action, and to park in a lot full of drunk fools. No brainer here. I can see the game more cheaply, more comfortably, and can see the action far better on TV at home.

    Why pay to watch this game when you can watch for free courtesy of advertisers? And boo hoo for the NFL, they’re still making coin aplenty.

    And btw what’s with this “Tailgating” thing? Eating and getting drunk in a freaking parking lot is fun? WTF?? Yeah, I’m fortunate enough to live right on the beach nearly directly east of Dolphin/Pro Player/Sun Life/ Joe Robbie/whatever stadium, so I have more access to recreation and entertainment and nice weather than most. But seriously, “Tailgating”?? Glad I don’t live in flyover country. I’d rather spend time before and after the game boating or swimming then hanging in a parking lot.

  37. “bradygazelle says:
    Aug 30, 2011 11:36 AM
    Why don’t the Jaguars do that season ticket thing for $9 per game like they did last season?”

    You’re still trying to get people to believe this. It only happened in your imagination…

  38. Three good reasons for NFL blackouts in FL:

    1 – it’s much easier, cheaper, and better these days to watch NFL games on HDTV at home, or even in a bar – this is true everywhere, but it has a larger effect on game attendance where other local circumstances make attending the game a relatively less desirable thing

    2 – FL has warm sunny weather throughout the season, so there’s almost always great, cheap recreation alternatives available, at the beach, etc.

    3 – FL has hot sunny weather through most of the season, and it’s miserable to sit and bake in the sun during a daytime game before December or so, by which time a team is either a playoff contender, or not

  39. who can afford to go to an NFL game anymore?

    the real NFL Mania started in the 70s and 80s in major recessions with NFL games being the highlight of working class life in a lot of cases….

    now, there is no way blue collar, hard working families can afford to be die hard fans…..

    and it’s especially galling when you see the JaMarcus, Haynesworth, etc. pay for lay crap going on….

    wanna sell tickets NFL? remember where you came from and do something about it…..

  40. No matter how good the TV is at home with all food you want, cheap, cold beer, pausing, bathrooms, BBQs outside, the experience at the stadium with thousands of other fans just can’t be beat.

    However, the NFL, in all of its greed have made the cost benefit swing to watching the games at home or in bars. The NFL doesn’t seem to realize that there is this little problem called the recession and high unemployment. I know it’s hard for billionaires to even comprehend problems we peasants and serfs have, but they need a reality check.

    The idiotic blackout rule needs to go. The NFL is the only business in the world which punishes its customers for not buying its luxury products.

  41. the rebels will always prefer college football. its in their blood, undying regionalism. i know, i lived there for some time. nfl means squat down south.

  42. seriously, look at how simple this solution is. the league makes gazillioins of dollars off of tv. lift the blackout rule, more people watch, better ratings, tv revenue up, lower ticket prices and concessions (33% would be fair), attendence soars, stadiums filled, we all win. if the league thinks i am leaving my kitchen (polish people tend to socalize in the kitchen of the house), while cooking a mint supper while drinking crown royal, watching my superb hdtv with my buds and family they are loco.

  43. Going to the game sux compared to watching on TV in the comfort of your own home. The NFL does need to lift the blackout rule, it makes no sense. In my life (and I am a big NFL fan), I have NEVER gone to a game on the basis of a blackout preventing me from seeing it. If it’s blacked out, I watch a DIFFERENT game. The owners are really stupid on that blackout rule.

    Also, ticket prices are absurd. I only go to games now if someone “gives” me a ticket for free. Here’s why I won’t buy a ticket to an NFL game ever again and will instead watch on TV:
    -No traffic
    -No crowds
    -No overpriced crappy food
    -No dirty bathrooms
    -No paying for parking
    -No drunks cussing and getting in fights around my kids
    -No missing a replay on controversial calls because they refuse replay those on the jumbotron
    -No missing out on other highlights around the league
    -No heat
    -No uncomfortable seats

    The NFL doesn’t understand that the TV experience far surpasses going to the game.

  44. @ fishdaddy217.

    I agree with you, and I also agree with a few other people on here as well….

    I live in Nashville, TN. I couldn’t be more of a Die Hard Bucs Fan. I am not rich, by any stretch of the immagination. I plan, and budget my money. If I lived in the Tampa Area, I would be a season ticket holder. I am going to the game in November here in Nashville, 2nd row seats behind the Bucs Bench. It cost me $700.00. Yup, a lot of money, however, I don’t get to do it very often.

    If I was a Bucs fan in Tampa, and wanted to support my team, I would find a way to go. (not at 700 a pop though)

    Now…. on the other side of it, the Lock out discurraged a lot of “fans”. When this happened, and more revenue goes to the players, I knew prices would go up on everything… they gotta make up the money, so lets take it from the fans. I knew this would happen. If fans boycotted all 32 teams… I guarantee the prices would come down.

  45. bucwild05 says:
    “If fans boycotted all 32 teams… I guarantee the prices would come down.”

    You sir are exactly correct. The only problem is fans or so called fans across the league are too busy bashing other city’s and fans to ever come together and realize the power that the fan actually holds. I mean look now, the lock out is only a month over and people are on the “move _____ to L.A.”. Nice idea in theory, but NFL fans will never come together. Pretty sad actually.

  46. Dolphins Sellouts??????? Why because they sell the 30,000 nosebleed seats to the local YMCA for $1.00 every week 24 hours before the blackout deadline???

  47. Funny how the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey team just increased it’s season ticket holders by 5,000 while the Bucs season tickets holders are decreasing… very very interesting…

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