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SBD/January 3, 2014/Franchises
Packers Avoid Blackout With Help From Sponsors; Colts Also Announce Sell Out
Published January 3, 2014
COLTS ANNOUNCE SELL OUT: PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio notes the Colts Friday morning announced that corporate partner Meijer has “purchased the remaining 1,200 non-premium tickets to Saturday’s game against the Chiefs, making it a sellout." The tickets will be "donated to local military families.” The Colts had “obtained an extended extension through Friday afternoon to sell all remaining non-premium tickets” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/3). The Colts now have "sold out 104 straight games, including the playoffs” (INDYSTAR.com, 1/3). In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz writes the possibility of a blackout was "not an embarrassment for the city of Indianapolis" but "an embarrassment for the NFL, which continues to handle postseason tickets in a way that makes it too difficult to sell out stadiums for the country's most beloved and popular sport." The NFL "overprices playoff tickets ... and leaves fans with too little time to get themselves together in order to make a purchase." That situation will continue "with the proliferation of HD TVs ... until some measures are taken" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/3).
|Some analysts believe the NFL places less
emphasis on the in-stadium experience
IS THE NFL HEARING THE FANS? SPORTS ON EARTH's Colin McGowan wrote fans are "communicating to the league that attending these games is either too expensive or not particularly more appealing than watching from their couch or at a bar." The NFL, if it "really believed the hogwash it was peddling about communities, would listen to fan bases that are telling it that its product isn’t worth the asking price." It "won’t do this, of course, because it doesn’t actually care" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 1/2). In S.F., Ron Kroichick wrote, "If you're surprised by the Packers, Colts and Bengals struggling to sell out wild-card games, then you haven't been paying attention." Long ago, the message "from the sports establishment to Joe and Jane Fan became abundantly clear: We sincerely, deeply care about television viewers," but "ticket-buying spectators, not so much" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/3). In Philadelphia, Al Morganti writes, "Just think about the arrogance of the National Football League. Think about the arrogance of a league that would dare to even consider the blackout of a playoff game in any market." Whatever the reason for lower ticket sales, the NFL "has again put a gun to the head of the public." The NFL "blacking out a playoff game -- or even threatening to do so in a place like Green Bay -- is a total and compete disgrace." It is "not a disgrace to the fans, but a disgrace to a league that uses its fan base as a commodity that was bought, paid for, and expected to act appropriately" (PHILLY.com, 1/3).