Buffalo resident ensures local broadcast of Bills game

With more than 10,000 unsold non-premium tickets available as of last week for Sunday’s game between the Rams and the Bills, Buffalo was destined to have a second straight local blackout.

Thanks to Russell J. Salvatore, that won’t happen.

According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the local restaurant owner bought the remaining tickets, allowing the game to be televised locally.

In 2010, Salvatore did the same thing, buying up more than 7,000 tickets before a game against the Patriots.  The specific number of tickets that he purchased this time around isn’t known.

But here’s the thing.  Why is a local citizen buying these unsold tickets and not, say, the billionaire who owns the team?  Under a little-known tweak in the NFL’s blackout rules, unsold tickets can be bought for 34 cents on the dollar.  And while it’s possible that Russell’s Steaks, Chops, & More is turning a hefty profit, few profits are heftier than the profit turned by an NFL team.

Salvatore may get to do it again in a few weeks.  The team announced Wednesday that more than 10,000 tickets remain for a December 30 game against the Jets.

20 responses to “Buffalo resident ensures local broadcast of Bills game

  1. The players should buy the tickets. There are 53 of them on the roster, so it shouldn’t cost no more that $2000 each. The league minimum salary is $390,000 so they can afford it. Most of them have charities or foundations and they can write it off on their taxes.

  2. thanks to our local pizza shop we have the Bills game on t.v. great now what am I gunna do this Sunday instead of watching football?

  3. This is why the Buffalo Bills will go no where. Peoples perception of the City are so off its not even funny. OK numerous people have relocated to warmer areas and the City financially isnt so great but the surrounding areas and the bright future of Buffalo (Billion for Buffalo per Gov Cuomo) has this area on the upswing.
    You can buy a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom house in Orchard Park for 250k…I wonder what that would cost in LA or NYC or Miami.

    sidenote – it was like 60 degrees all week. In Buffalo. In December. Enough with the cold jargon

  4. The Bills are a decent team, a little too inconsistent, but still good so why aren’t the fans showing up?

  5. Salvatore is just doing this to be nice on Christmas. He has a long history of charity.

    Name any NFL owner that would do this, not fair just to pick on Wilson. The blackout rule is obsolete, and it’s used by NFL owners to hold fans hostage.

  6. Teams should have the option of donating unsold tickets to a local charity that would in turn be able to sell them at a discount. It would help the team, the charity and the fans who can’t afford to pay regular price.

  7. 49erstim says:
    Dec 6, 2012 9:58 AM
    The Bills are a decent team, a little too inconsistent, but still good so why aren’t the fans showing up

    Bills fans aren’t showing up because we are pretty much out of the playoff race. it happens every year this time, the fans try to send a message by not showing up/buying tickets management doesn’t receive. So we end up buying a billboard and say “fire Chan” or “Give Cj the Ball!”Believe me my friend if the Bills were 7-5 right not it would be sold out to max with people sitting in the parking lot that couldn’t get in. … surprised you said the bills were decent… did u think that before or after you smashed us up like 45 to 3??

  8. Instead of wasting time and mental energy on yet another billionaire rant, which we all by now know what the real motivation is that has nothing to do with football, why don’t you instead understand that the local citizen is probably getting advertising for pennies on the dollar it would cost otherwise to have your name associated with the NFL.

    But then again that would have made for a wiser post.

  9. I can’t understand the reasoning behind this one. I wouldn’t do it. Radio is still available, and Cleveland’s Jim Donovan is better than the TV guy any day. Before I got a satelite I would turn the sound down on my TV and listen to Donovan’s play-by-play. Now, with DirecTV’s lag I cannot do that.

    10000 tickets? Whew.

  10. The reason why owners don’t buy the remaining tickets is easy… They are punishing fans. “If they don’t come to the games, then they don’t get to watch it on tv either.” Its spiteful, but I’m willing to bet its true.

  11. It’s nice to talk about charity, but the fact remains that the NFL is a business and only gets involved with charities when it suites their bottom-line.

  12. You don’t become a billionaire by spending money. He gets his slice of the TV dollars, blackout or not. The money from selling tickets and concessions is gravy.

  13. December games in Buffalo have always been a tough draw, not just for the high probability of bad weather, but also because the staidum has the 11th largest seating capacity in the NFL despite being in one of the smallest markets. If the Bills had a domed stadium with a more reasonable number of seats, they would have no trouble selling out every game, regardless of record.

  14. jacksonjames4 says:
    Dec 6, 2012 11:30 AM
    Great example of how loyal Bills fans are.

    Good one bro. Try 13 years and no playoffs yet we still rank pretty high on attendance numbers. December blackouts or not the fans are loyal here.

    Would you watch your team in below freezing December weather with freezing rain and/or snow when your team is not playoff bound for another year beyond a decade?


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