SBD/August 22, 2012/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Bills' Season-Ticket Sales Pacing 15.8% Ahead Of '11

In Buffalo, Mark Gaughan notes the Bills "have sold 43,267 season tickets for 2012," an increase of 15.8% over last season. The total is "up 5,912 over last season, when the team's season sales dropped to a 10-year low of 37,355." This season's total "still is not equal" to what the Bills had in '10. The club "sold 44,084 before that season." The '12 season-ticket total is the "seventh highest in the last 13 years." The Bills "were at 56,011 in sales in 2008 and had 55,194 in 2009" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/22).

SPEAK NO EVIL
: In Pittsburgh, Mark Kaboly noted Steelers S Ryan Clark is "going quiet" following a year in which he "routinely denounced NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell." Clark said, "I think it makes it harder on your team. When it starts to affect the way your team is viewed, when it starts affecting the perception of your organization, you have to look at it and understand the greater good.” Kaboly noted the Steelers "have been at the forefront of a number of hot-button topics over the past two years, from illegal hits to fines to suspensions." Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said that Clark’s decision of not lashing out this year "was not mandated by the organization." Colbert said, "We encourage them to handle their business in a professional manner because it is a part of their job” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/21).

GONE FISHIN': In Miami, Dan Le Batard wrote of the Dolphins, "A decade of mismanagement has finally caught up to the business model." It is "a testament to the overwhelming popularity of football that the Dolphins didn’t hemorrhage customers earlier than this." The Dolphins, "arrogant as an organization for so long, have been humbled" by the experience of being the featured team on HBO's "Hard Knocks." The team has to "keep the games on free TV, even if it means selling a slice of their soul and selling out their first-year coach on paid TV, because fans are looking for exits and the next exit ramp right after 'uninteresting' is marked 'irrelevant'" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/19).

TIGER BY THE TAIL: In Cincinnati, Kelly & Reedy noted the first Bengals training camp held at Paul Brown Stadium "came to a close Sunday." The team held five practices open to the public "which drew 19,500 fans." Bengals Business Development Dir Bob Bedinghaus said, "The number of practices we have open, the number of times we practice in the stadium are going to be some of the things we will take a look at." The Bengals "unofficially" drew 29,360 for the 16 camp practices, which was "close to the estimated 29,448 who were at Georgetown in 2010 for 17 practices" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/20).

SECONDS FOR THE SECOND CITY? Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has previously discussed Chicago landing a second NFL team, and the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh said, “Chicago, I think, could support a second football team. There is enough football fervor. It would be the NFL; the NFL sells itself. But I have a hard time seeing how just politically that Chicago could get a second team before Los Angeles gets a first. ... Also, I think London might be ahead of Chicago.” Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Dave Kaplan said a second NFL team in Chicago “would sell-out immediately" ("Chicago Tribune Live," Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 8/21).
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