Bengals sell out their home opener

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Last year, the Bengals had a hard time filling up Paul Brown Stadium.  This year, they’re starting off with a bang.

The Bengals have sold out their home opener against the Browns, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“I think it’s a huge kickoff to our season at home,” coach Marvin Lewis said.  “To begin the season at home with a sold out game is big.  It’s a big reaction from our fans.”

It comes at a time when 10 of the last 12 home games weren’t sold out.  Despite that trend, the Bengals opted not to take advantage of the new rule that allows teams to reduce the required percentage of non-premium tickets from 100 to as low as 85.

The home opener against the Browns is one of the only soft spots on a schedule that otherwise includes visits from the Steelers, Ravens, Cowboys, Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Eli Manning and the Giants, and Carson Palmer and the Raiders.  The next home game, October 7 against Miami, lost some of its luster when the Dolphins cut former Bengals receiver Chad Johnson.

If the Chargers can sell out their home opener against the Titans (or if the team will buy the remaining non-premium tickets at 34 cents on the dollar), there will be no local blackouts in Week Two, given that the Dolphins have bought up their unsold tickets.