SBD/September 14, 2012/Franchises

Dolphins Taking Advantage Of New NFL Rule To Avoid Home Opener TV Blackout

The Dolphins "aren't close to selling out" Sun Life Stadium for Sunday's home opener against the Raiders, but the team is "taking advantage of a new NFL rule that allows them to televise the game locally with only 85 percent of non-premium seats sold," according to Ben Volin of the PALM BEACH POST. That means the team must sell "slightly more than 51,000 of the 60,000 upper- and lower-bowl seats." While "plenty of tickets" remain, the Dolphins have "promised the NFL that they will reach the 85 percent requirement by kickoff." The team plans to "give extra tickets to season-ticket holders as a reward for their loyalty." Sunday's game would mark 110 consecutive regular-season games without a local blackout (PALM BEACH POST, 9/14). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes members of Duffy's Sports Grill's "loyalty program received an e-mail on Thursday offering patrons free upper-level tickets" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/14).

MORE TIME NEEDED: In California, Scott Bair reported the Chargers received a 24-hour extension "to sell the 2,100 general tickets necessary to lift" a local TV blackout for Sunday's home opener against the Titans (NCTIMES.com, 9/13). Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted an extension "usually means if they can’t sell the tickets, the team is going to buy the tickets at $0.34 on the dollar." Florio: "They need to because the Chargers specifically chose not to take advantage of the new (blackout) rule." The Chargers plan to “celebrate the life” of former Chargers LB Junior Seau at the game and are calling it “White Hot Sunday” by asking fans to wear all white (“Pro Football Talk,” NBC Sports Network, 9/13).

GAINING INTEREST: In Cincinnati, Joe Reedy reported the Bengals have sold out of tickets for Sunday's home opener against the Browns, marking the "first time the team has had two straight regular-season sellouts since early" in the '10 season. The Bengals had been unable to sell out 10 of their last 12 home games coming into the season (CINCINNATI.com, 9/12).
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Franchises, Miami Dolphins

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