By: Ian Logue
Just imagine not being able to watch the Patriots on television on Sundays.
That’s what fans of many teams in the NFL could be faced with this season as several teams are battling to sell tickets in a bad economy. Forget the fact that people are struggling to keep up with their mortgages, car payments, as well as simply putting food on the table for their families. Many people have lost their jobs, had a cut in pay, and had their entire lives turned upside during these difficult economic times.
However the league has no sympathy. They apparently would rather force those fans who really want to see their team spend money they may not have to actually go the game, otherwise they can spend the afternoon watching teams outside their markets.
According to an article in the Sporting News up to 20% of the NFL games this season could be blacked out locally, and one of the most staggering numbers I’ve ever seen is what’s going on in Jacksonville with the Jaguars. Their season ticket base dropped from 42,000 to 25,000, and now they’re faced with trying to find a way to move all those seats. If you visit their website you’re immediately greeted with an offer to get a “Flex Pack” with prices starting as low as $40 per ticket. Not a bad deal, but in a market as small as Jacksonville they’re in a race against time to try and get the place sold out or they won’t even be able to see the games on television. Needless to say if you’re looking at the prospect of visiting an NFL stadium there are plenty of good seats there still available.
The San Diego Chargers had an exhibition game blacked out for the first time since 2006, and reportedly had last night’s game blacked out as well. It’s not looking too good right now heading into the season and there is also apparently a strong chance fans could miss others. As for the Oakland Raiders, who are just terrible, they’re also facing the prospect of blackouts and had them last season.
The case in California is actually a little more understandable considering the current fiscal situation with the state along with the unemployment level (almost 10%). Most people are simply trying to keep up with their bills and avoid foreclosure. Football isn’t exactly high on their list of priorities.
But don’t expect any sympathy from the league. They’re now instead reportedly exploring giving those that want to watch the game the option to pay for it instead, which looks to be something that could eventually become a reality.
It’s definitely a bad time all around right now and I heard an idea earlier this week (the name escapes me) that suggested the fact it’s too bad the league couldn’t buy up those tickets and give them to local charities and send underprivileged kids who may have otherwise not had a chance to see an NFL game the opportunity to go. Since they could someday be potential customers it’s certainly good from a long-term perspective, but then again what do I know.
Interesting Tweet by Peter King a earlier this morning:
“NE-Phil QB-TE trade (Feeley for Watson or Thomas) makes too much sense not to happen.”
To which Adam Schefter replied – “Philly won’t trade Feeley to NE, Peter, watch. But we are going to see a busy day.”
After watching Brian Hoyer the other night I have to wonder if they’ll even pursue another quarterback or keep the roster spot open for someone else. We’ll have to wait and see.
That’s it for today. This will be a slightly shorter entry because it took a little longer than expected to put together this week’s “Patriots Week in Review”, so be sure to check it out. Otherwise we’ll see you tomorrow for a Sunday edition.