SBD/November 12, 2013/Franchises

Bills Could Be Facing Blackouts For Final Two Games At Ralph Wilson Stadium

Bills fans are not expected to buy enough tickets to prevent TV blackouts
Bills fans living in Western New York "may have seen their last televised game from Ralph Wilson Stadium this season," according to Gene Warner of the BUFFALO NEWS. The Bills as of yesterday afternoon "had about 5,500 tickets remaining for this Sunday’s game" against the Jets, and "approximately 20,000 for the Dec. 22 game" against the Dolphins. Bills President & CEO Russ Brandon yesterday said of meeting the Thursday blackout deadline for Sunday's game, "It is not likely that the game will be sold out. It’s going to be difficult to reach that level of sales in the remaining three days, but we’re not going to stop working until Sunday, to try to get as many people in the building as we can." The team has been "aggressive in its ticket-selling efforts, offering a military discount to veterans and their families, who can buy tickets for $25 apiece." There also are reports that the team has "offered ticket discounts to youth sports leagues." The Bills can approach WIVB-CBS, the local television affiliate, along with "the team’s sponsors, advertisers and civic leaders, who might help sell the game out." The team also has the option "to buy up any remaining tickets, at 34 cents on the dollar, enough to pay the visiting team’s share of the gate receipts." That is what Bills Owner Ralph Wilson did for the Bengals game Oct. 13. Three days before that game, the team "had reported being 5,300 tickets short of a sellout." However, the Bills have "a tougher challenge selling tickets this week," as they are "on a three-game skid, the weather’s been nasty, and people might be a little tighter with their discretionary money so close to Christmas." The NFL confirmed yesterday that there have "been zero TV blackouts this season, through the first 10 weeks, or 147 games" (BUFFALO NEWS, 11/12).
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