SBD/September 6, 2013/NFL Season Preview

NFL Franchise Notes: Bills' Season-Ticket Sales Down 1.7%, But Sunday's Opener Sold Out

In Buffalo, Mark Gaughan notes the Bills' season-ticket sales total for the '13 season is 42,540, which is "down 725 season tickets from last year." Sunday's season opener against the Patriots is "sold out, and limited tickets are available" for the Sept. 15 game against the Panthers and the Sept. 29 game against the Ravens. The season-ticket total is "respectable considering the Bills have not made the playoffs in 13 years and have started over again with a new regime this season." However, the total is "believed to be in the bottom quarter of the NFL" (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/6).

GRASS IS GREENER: NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Ray Anderson said that the league is "satisfied at this point with the condition of the playing surface" at FedExField and with the Redskins’ plan to "maintain the field throughout the season." But Anderson on Thursday reiterated that the NFL will "monitor the condition of the field" as well as other stadiums "over the course of the season." Anderson in February said that after the Redskins' first-round playoff game against the Seahawks, in which two players suffered serious knee injuries, the league "would take a more active role and would be more vigilant in monitoring the condition of fields league-wide, particularly later in the season in stadiums with natural grass playing surfaces" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/5).

DAWG DAYS OF SUMMER: In Cleveland, Kevin Kleps reported the Browns' front office is "encouraging its followers to 'Paint the Town Browns.'" The Browns earlier this summer via a "Paint the Town Browns" website and the team's Twitter account "gave away 12 prizes in 12 hours, including 'exclusive' experiences, tickets, an all-inclusive road trip and autographed items." The team also will "host a tailgate party" Friday from 1:00-6:00pm ET at Crocker Park that will "feature appearances by Browns alumni." Fans "should have confidence that the team 'gets it' in at least one regard -- it must do everything possible to reconnect with a fan base that had grown as discouraged as ever during the disastrous Pat Shurmur era" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 9/5).
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