In Houston, John McClain noted the Texans put individual-game tickets on sale yesterday, and "all but 100 seats sold in a team-record five minutes." The team has "sold a record 65,801 season tickets." The Texans have a "season-ticket waiting list of more than 19,000, also a team best." Meanwhile, the Texans and Verizon "had a nine-player caravan going around the city Wednesday, making five stops to meet and greet fans." The players "gave away gift cards, posed for pictures and signed autographs" (CHRON.com, 7/25).
PROS AND CONS: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote, "Of all the teams that could be tempted to take advantage of the NFL’s new blackout rule, the Raiders are the team that could be facing the toughest decision." A league source said that the Raiders "are still considering and evaluating the situation." The team in '11 "managed to sell out all home games, for the first time" since returning to Oakland in '95. It could be "hard to duplicate that success, unless the Raiders contend for a playoff berth." But taking advantage of a rule "that essentially constitutes an advance admission of failure doesn’t fit with the vibe that the organization currently is trying to generate" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 7/25).
NO 'I' IN TEAM: In Columbus, Jeff Bell noted the Blue Jackets on Monday traded RW Rick Nash to the Rangers and Blue Jackets Exec VP/Business Operations Larry Hoepfner said that the plan is to market the team "as a team instead of promoting a single star." He also said that the team is "not ready to tag anyone a franchise player at this stage of the game." Bell: "So look for the starless Jackets to position themselves as a young club that hustles, hits hard and tries to get better after a disastrous season in which they finished with the worst record" in the NHL. That would "fit with the 'Join the Battle' marketing campaign the team launched in June" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/24).
BACK IN BLACK: In Phoenix, Paul Coro noted the Suns "plan to be 'Back in Black' next season." A leak of the spring adidas NBA catalog "prompted the website uni-watch.com to post a story about teams' upcoming uniform changes, including a return of the Suns' popular black jerseys that featured a diagonal name and sunburst" from '92-00. Suns President Brad Casper "acknowledged the catalog sneak peek and that the franchise was looking at a 'Hardwood Classics' uniform to include next season." The Suns have been "planning a uniform re-design for the '13-14 season" (AZCENTRAL.com, 7/24).