SBD/Closing Bell

NFL's McCarthy Says Season-Ticket Sales Are Now In Decline

Since the NFL briefed owners last month that season-ticket sales were trending ahead of last year’s, notwithstanding the lockout, the trend has reversed, said NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy. The figure provided to owners last month was through May 7, he explained. But new data through May 31 shows a decline from last year, he said. And since the lockout began on March 12, renewals of suites and club seats have slowed to a crawl, he added.

Since SportsBusiness Journal reported last week that season-ticket sales were up, the league and its teams have been criticized for cutting back and laying off and furloughing employees. Now the message seems to be there is a valid reason for those cutbacks. The message might also be important in the latest rounds of talks between players and owners. The league has previously suggested that once a lockout began, its offer to the players might get worse because of the effect on NFL economics. The new disclosure from the league could be seen as a way of underscoring that.

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