Teams can buy unsold postseason tickets — at full price

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During the regular season, the home team that hopes to avoid a blackout can buy any unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollar.  In the playoffs, there’s no such luxury.

According to the league office, the ability of the host to pay the “Visiting Team Share” evaporates in the postseason.

This means that the Colts, Bengals, and/or Packers can lift the blackout by purchasing any unsold tickets at full prices.  Which makes it far less likely to happen.

With only two of 256 regular-season games blacked out, the possibility of up to three blackouts of postseason games could create a major political and P.R. headache for the league — especially in cities like Indianapolis and Cincinnati, where taxpayer money was used to build the local NFL venues.

60 responses to “Teams can buy unsold postseason tickets — at full price

  1. It’s not uncommon for the local tv station that’s broadcasting the game to buy them.
    Typically, the ad revenue more than makes up for it.

  2. Taxpayer money was used to fund the Lambeau Field renovation in the early 2000s as well. There’s still a 0.5% sales tax in Brown County, WI to pay for it. I don’t see how Goodell lets all of these blackouts happen. One way or another, I think they’ll find a way to avert this PR mess.

  3. No need to have the Bengals game on TV, no one outside of Ohio will even watch them get blown out by the Chargers.


  4. If the league blacks out playoff games in cities where public money built the venues, we’ll see congress and the fcc jump all over this.

    Congress would love this actually because it’s something they can use as a distraction from the fact they’ve done virtually nothing the last couple years.

  5. This is hopefully a huge wakeup call for the NFL for things change into the favor of the fans, and not the oligarichal rule a few rich folks have over the game. None of these 3 cities are ever discussed in relocation talks and yet they may black out their games.

    It’s become clear at this point fan support is not necesarily the issue, it goes much deeper than this. Time to face the music and make fan friendly changes NFL.

  6. LOL.. And the NFL wants to use variable pricing next year to jack ticket prices up even further. Newsflash NFL.. Going to an NFL game is the least pleasing experience of the four major sports. Parking and navigating around a stadium is reason enough to stay home. Add in the ridiculous amount of belligerent, annoying fans.. And there’s absolutely no incentive to leave the 60″ HD flat screen.

  7. The NFL and its owners are getting what they deserve. They have made the price of attending a game so outlandish that they can’t even find enough people to justify spending the money to attend a playoff game. Hopefully, this trend will continue and the average family will one day be able to attend a sporting event without having to take out a small loan.

  8. Seriously. How do you blackout a playoff game? Are they REALLY going to tell me they’re just going to NOT televise a playoff game?

  9. They’re already close to a major battle with the FCC over the blackouts, this will push things over the edge for sure. Every political level in Ohio and Indiana will be pushing this one. Unless the NFL figures a temporary fix out quickly, I predict this weekend will be the one credited with ending the Blackout Policy for ever.
    As a Hamilton County resident, with a Hamilton county located business, I’ve paid my share for that team’s stadium and it’s a joke that I might not be able to watch the playoff game.

  10. Teams should not be able to purchase unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollar to guarantee a sellout.

    Just goes to show how overpriced the tickets are. Especially during the playoffs.

  11. Say what you will about Mike Brown’s GM prowess (or lack thereof) but in recent years the Bengals have lowered ticket prices and really stepped up the drive to get people in the stadium. In the playoffs the NFL sets ticket prices, thus leaving the Bengals with prices well above what we fans have paid to go to regular season games this year. The blackout rule, coupled with not reducing the price of playoff tickets for the team to buy out ( in most instances they typically DONATE the purchased tickets to good causes in the area) is just insane. I have a feeling the NFL may be serving crow at the league meetings this spring, but in the meantime I’ll be listening to the game on the radio this sunday.

  12. You cant get rid of the rule first off because TV is much better option than sitting next to drunks. Go to the game if you live within the blackout radius.
    Only way to get on TV needs to require a sellout.
    So much for the great GB fan base.

  13. I’m all in on the Vikings year in and year out, yet usually still get pretty fired up to watch playoff games anyways (even though they tend to have minimum involvement with them). Yet, this year, I’m not nearly as interested as I normally am. The main reason? Refs have been *that* bad for seemingly all teams this year. It takes a lot of entertainment out of the game for me — much more than I would have reasonably suspected or been able to anticipate. The league needs to fix the officiating.

  14. I dont know why people continue to go to the game. Every time I take my wife and daughter , theres always drunk yungsters behind us screaming cuss words and thats once a year. Id rather watch it on the HD flat screen at home with my friends and smoke ribs !

  15. Not paying $98 dollars to sit so far up that I need to take an oxygen tank with me to breathe properly bc oxygen is non existant up there. Then pay $40 for parking (at least), $8 for a beer and $7 for a hot dog. You can take those prices and shove em right up in there.

  16. Doesn’t the home team get the receipts for the ticket sales? If so, why do they care how much they pay? It’s all going back in their pocket anyhow.

  17. Actually, the “face value” of NFL tickets isn’t too bad considering there’s only 16 regular season games. They obviously can’t sell field-level 50 yard line seats for $50.

    The thing that really yanks my chain is the aftermarket prices. Such as a Giants home game ticket, field-level, maybe 40 yard line, 20 rows back could easily run $600. Now that’s ridiculous and is the reason I stay home unless I get the tickets at face value or free.

  18. I used to be a Bengals season ticket holder for 8 years until we had kids in 2008… now we’re a family of 4 and my wife stays home and watches our kids and a couple others to make extra money. Even if I only took my wife and oldest kid we’d end up spending $400 EASY on 3 tickets, parking and a few hot dogs… It’s just not realistic for people like me anymore. Too bad the NFL feels people like me shouldn’t be able to watch it on tv either.

  19. I could go to Chicago and watch the Packer game with Cutler or goto Detroit and watch the game with Megatron.

  20. In regards to the potential black out in GB it is a combination of many things. A perfect storm. The season ticket holder deadline was 12-4-13. How was the team performing then? As a season ticket holder are you willing to pay the team for not only the wild card game for every seat your own but the NFC title game as well? That is what was required. If the games do not occur, the money is not refunded, but applied to next season’s season tickets. The weeks leading up to the deadline included the horrific loss at Detroit one week prior to sending in funds for potential playoff games (seemed pretty grim didn’t it?). Now the opportunity for 40,000 unclaimed season tickets go to the public. That’s a lot and has never happened. That is just a ton of tickets to sell in a week. Short notice for travel, short notice for budget (we just are out of the expensive holiday season) and then top that off with the forecast. Just a perfect storm of consequences that cause a possible blackout

  21. I live in GB, paid the taxes to renovate the stadium and my family has more than our fair share of Packer gear. For 4 tickets, parking, and a hot chocolate and hot dog and I’m in for over $500 minimum. That’s not a good value proposition for an “average” family. Then the NFL sets kick off for the late game, ensuring no sun for the entire game so you’ll really feel the predicted 5 degree temperature at kickoff and negative temps through the game. Sorry NFL, my tax dollars helped rebuild your stadium. The last time I went to that stadium I left early since my 9 year old was covered in beer and her coat was soaked. I love my team, and my kids do too. But you have forced the issue; blackout the game. I’ll drive to a friends house out of the viewing area, and still save $400. Idiots.

  22. NFL….You better listen to this……most stadiums are financced with tax money. This really tics me off. We know youve already spent the money. So I hope there is blackouts just to wake these billionaires up. Im done with em.


    The Packers are having another “stock” sale! This time it will allow you to say you “own” the seats! As Packer fans it is our duty to blow our hard earn money on this franchise scams. I have bought 10 of these stocks for $1,000 each and I except you all to do the same.


  24. Let’s just make ticket free. Then we’ll all get in line for food & milk rations, and wealth redistribution.

  25. This is not about a weak fanbase not supporting a team….. Its about NFL GREED. Its what Marvin Lewis couldnt say at his last press conf….We all know it.

  26. don’t know about other venues but for the Colts they were asking for payment for divisional and AFC Championship Game. we are not even going to have a divisional game. my payment option would have been $600 for 2 people due in 2 weeks

  27. When a team buys unsold tickets, isn’t it effectively paying itself? Maybe not 100% of the revenue, but the home team must get a big chunk of it.

  28. They used taxpayer money to renovate Lambeau and ironically add 7000-plus seats that they will have trouble filling in the smallest market in the NFL. They need to kick back a little and buy up those seats.

  29. Unsold tickets will result in lower prices. I don’t blame fans for staying home. You can watch the game with family and friends, save a few hundred dollars, and stay out of trouble.

  30. If not buy the seats make them a little more affordable. Their is a fine line between greed and profit and football plays to well on TV.

    OBTW, if you own a computer, you can watch any game you want.

  31. For the price difference between watching the game at home on your HDTV and taking your family to the game… you could buy another HDTV. THAT is the problem. The cost for technology keeps dropping and the cost of a ticket keeps going up.

  32. I can’t speak to the other cities, but in Indianapolis most of the seats available are the Club seats, which are $338 each. I think what this week has shown to the NFL, is that they have now entered the zone of over pricing. In big markets, that may not be as much of a problem, but in smaller markets, there just aren’t enough people willing to put up that much money.

  33. The stadiums are rented, not owned by the teams. The NFL is a non profit legal organization. As a non profit they do not pay taxes. ( check it out ) —– As for the dude, from the eagles, noting that all tickets are sold. Can’t say for sure if that is true, BUT two club seats were donated by me. The NFL experience is over priced and over hyped. ( that means I gave up the seats by the way ). And if the TV adverts keep increasing, I’ll have no problem saying Good By to the NFL. Others I speak with are thinking in a similar fashion. It really seems that the NFL has peaked and is now in decline. they’ve killed the Golden Goose…..

  34. Its just that the season ticket holders didn’t want to take a shot at their money held up right before Christmas without having locked up a playoff spot.

    Nothing to see here. Except in Cincinnati where Jones and Burfict will commit crimes at halftime.

  35. I think there are several reasons why this happens… first off two of the teams (Packers and Bengals) were not a lock to grab a playoff spot until nearly the last week of the season, and the Colts weren’t playing great ball towards the latter part of the year, you factor in the cost, the limited time to prepare (the league only announced the days and times this week), and just following the holiday season where a lot of people don’t have the extra money to cough up equates to these situations. Green Bay’s fan base is die hard, hell there isn’t much else to do, and if it were obvious they would qualify for the playoffs weeks ago I’m sure this wouldn’t be an issue. This year there were so many possibilities of who would make it or not… Maybe the NFL should offer a pre discounted ticket something worthwhile like 20% or more off weeks in advance with a refund option if the teams don’t qualify.

  36. just goes to show hoe greedy this sport is, WE the fans finance this sport but if we don’t buy all the tickets they threaten to black the game out..

    that’s what we get for supporting them all season long

    simply PATHETIC

    godohell is a JOKE, he and his clown posse

  37. I know the Viking fans are having fun with this but no worries, Minneapolis will be able to see the game. Granted, its not the Vikings, instead its professional football.

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