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Playoffs blacked out? Maybe...

The NFL is king. Feel free to pay your respects.

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Downward trend? Is this something you've heard on the radio or read somewhere? Everything I read/hear says NFL is going gangbusters.

I would love to read anything that says otherwise, just to knock Herr Gooddell down a notch or five.
 

tshile

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Downward trend? Is this something you've heard on the radio or read somewhere? Everything I read/hear says NFL is going gangbusters.

I would love to read anything that says otherwise, just to knock Herr Gooddell down a notch or five.
Well, it's something that's been floating around rumorville for a while. It really depends on what you're looking at and how you're measuring things...

Part of CapGate was to redistribute money from the Redskins and Cowboys so that teams could see an increase in their salary cap. The cap is (as far as I'm aware) built around revenue being generated. If there were no salary cap penalties, and hence redistribution of cap space, 2011 would have been the first year in a long time that the salary cap actually decreased. This has sparked all kinds of speculation about the true motives for the penalties... But the takeaway is that without the penalty and redistribution of cap space, teams would have lost cap room, which means revenue fell.

In addition to that, there are stadiums all around the country that are either having blackouts, or are close to it. Jacksonville has tarped off a huge section of seats and still suffers blackouts (If you tarp a section they don't count against you for blackouts, but you can't remove the tarp and use the seats at any point in the season.) In general game attendance is down. There are lots of places to look fro that, here's one from last year - After peaking in 2007, NFL attendance steadily has declined | ProFootballTalk.

Then you have the NFL Sunday Ticket issue with DirecTV. The exclusive contract required DirecTV to have a certain number of subscribers to keep the exclusivity deal intact, which is why you could negotiate the price lower ever year if you tried. Well, they eventually lost that, you can now get Sunday ticket over your PS3. So those numbers are down.

Then you had the walking dead season finale outdraw a prime time Sunday Night NFL game. I don't believe that was a stellar matchup on the NFL's behalf that night, but still...

Add to it the recent rule changes about being blacked out (owners can buy up unsold seats at a fraction of the cost to avoid being blacked out. psst - this is what our owner does, overseer of the 'longest sellout streak in the league')

The NFL still dominates all the other sports. A good Sunday night or Monday night matchup will outdraw all the other shows combined.

This is also a trend being observed in College Football right now.

So, it's a downward trend if you think these things mean anything. The NFL fights very hard to keep this stuff under wraps. You get pieces of it here and there, but without someone keeping track of it all to connect the dots for you it would be really hard to follow and recognize (a show I listen to does a pretty good job of talking about this issue.)

If one, or more, of these stadiums is blacked out... a home playoff game... that would be a new low in the modern era of NFL football.

I don't see stadium attendance doing anything but going down. The number of people that truly enjoy the stadium experience, and can afford (in terms of money and time) to go on a regular basis, is just dwindling. They'd rather sit on their couch. I don't know how you fix that.

My fear is that they'll try to fix it by doing 'stadium experience' things, when what they really need to do is lower the cost of admission and get the working class football fan back in. But given the trend in recent stadium constructions I don't see it happening.
 
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Goaldeje

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James Madison

Nice post T, thanks for taking time to reply.

I guess I have heard most of those things individually, but hadn't bothered to put them all together. Interesting ideas, and what you are saying does make some sense. The stadium experience isn't great. If we lived even an hour closer, there is nothing more I would like than to meet up for Tailgates and take my kids to the game. Buuuutttttt.... I don't really want my kids exposed to all the drunk assholes so much. Combine that with the fact that I live 2.5 hours away, and I'd rather sit on my couch with a beer and some cheap snacks.

And I don't think I'm alone.

I have no idea how to reverse the trend. Lowering the ticket prices would get another block of people in there getting drunk and I'm not real sure how that would actually improve things. Seems like cutting concessions might help, but that obviously will NEVER happen. The NFL is smart, they embraced FF pretty early on, and are now even using targeted marketing towards females which is brilliant on multiple levels. They need to figure out how to keep appealing to people at home, then keep raising the TV contracts (compensated by more advertising revenue), which seems to be the path they are gravitating towards.
 

tshile

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You're not alone.

I don't know how to change it other than restricting the sale of alcohol.

I was brought to RFK a lot as a kid. Sure, there was tons of alcohol and cussing, but people were kept in check. Not by security, but by fans.

It's just not like that anymore. Part of the reason is that, in my experience, most season ticket holders don't go to the game; they sell their tickets in the after-market. Maybe they got to a few games, some surely sell the whole package before the season starts. They're waiting for a team that's going to be good year in-year out before they start going back to the stadium regularly (or maybe they're making money off it, who knows.) So there's no real accountability. Majority of the people going aren't going to be there next week, or the week after, or the week after that, so they don't really give a shit if they ruin the time for those around them. This is their one game a year, or a life, or whatever, so it's all about them and they make sure everyone around them understands that.

The best games to go to, over the last 10 years or so, were the late season mid day games against obscure AFC opponents where the stadium was like 1/4 empty. Those were the games people brought out 5, 6, 7 kids at a time with them because tickets were cheap and it was a mildly pleasant saturday in october/november.

The prime time ones are the worst in my experience. Nothing but sloppy drunks.

We're talking about having kids. My season tickets have survived the most dreadful seasons, and offseasons, of the last decade. But I'm not sure I'll be able to justify spending that much time away from home, for that environment, on a sunday when the option is to spend it with my kid... Honestly not sure...
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

The only counter argument I would make is that kids, once they reach the 7-10 age range, are easily impressionable, and attending a game in person can be a truly formative experience for them.

Now, having said that, you certainly don't need season tickets for that. My in laws have been taking my son to Red Sox games for a while, and he is a huge Sox fan because of it (I know, gag me). They know not to even try anything with the Pats (we've had...discussions), but I gave in to the Sox, even though I grew up an O's fan. Anyway, one or two games in person ought to do it. I think my boy is probably about the right age right now actually...
 

tshile

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I will say that Allen (at least he's credited for it) has significantly improved the stadium experience. The people at the gates are significantly better. Security has either been increased, or the training has improved, because they're much quicker.

There's still problems. Hopefully it'll continue to improve.
 

Kel Varnsen

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High Point

I always wondered when will they price the fans out of attending. I just did a search on ticketmaster.

$111 per ticket is the cheapest upper deck ticket for the Packers. Not to mention it's supposed to be sub zero temps this weekend.

$96 for Bengals tickets. Also in the upper deck.

$65 is the cheapest for the Colts, but that was sold out. The cheapest available is in the upper corner for $85.

I don't know how much more those are than regular season tickets. But that may be something they have to look into. Sure, with traditional powers or big market teams, selling out playoffs no matter what the cost is probably no issue. But we are talking about smaller market teams. The Packers is a surprise just because of how loyal their fans are. But a late entry into the playoffs and a high of -4 on Sunday probably isn't helping the matter.

I don't think interest or passion in the game is dying. I just think it's easier and obviously much cheaper to sit at home and watch the game. Any little thing to use an excuse to not go to the game is keeping more people away.
 

tshile

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the price for playoff tickets is set by the NFL.

if you're going to buy on the aftermarket then it's driven by demand, but there is standard price set by the NFL for all the games in the playoffs.
 

tshile

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nfl granted extensions that expire this afternoon to the extensions that expired yesterday afternoon.

3 stadiums blackedout?

lol i'd love it. **** you goodell. you've ruined this league and if 3 playoff stadiums are blacked out it'll be front and center for everyone to see, no more hiding from it.

(I know the NFL will make sure it doesn't happen)
 

tshile

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e Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts all were granted ticket-sale deadline extensions from the NFL on Thursday.

The Packers joined that list after they came up about 3,000 tickets short of selling out 80,750-seat Lambeau Field for Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

A Packers spokesperson said the league gave them until 5 p.m. ET on Friday to sell the remaining tickets and avoid a television blackout in their home market, which includes both the Green Bay and Milwaukee areas.

The Packers began the week with 40,000 tickets available.

The Bengals have until 4 p.m. ET Friday to sell the remaining tickets to Sunday's first-round AFC playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.

Late Thursday afternoon, there was no official word as to how many Bengals tickets were left. The team's Twitter account accidentally floated the number 3,500 before being quickly deleted. Team officials later said they weren't able to provide an exact figure, only noting that it was low enough for an extension to be granted.

Many of the Bengals tickets purchased Thursday came from local businesses that are planning to donate them to local military families. By the end of business Wednesday, Bengals director of sales and public affairs Jeff Berding said about 8,000 tickets remained.

The NFL gave the Colts a second extension to try to sell their remaining 3,000 tickets for Saturday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs to avoid having it blacked out in the Indianapolis area.

The Colts have until 4:30 p.m. ET Friday to sell their remaining tickets. The Colts have sold out 137 of their past 138 games.
:laugh:

2013 NFL playoffs -- Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts receive ticket sale deadline extensions - ESPN
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

Damn man, that's a lot of tickets left. I like the military family thing, that's cool, but also a sad reflection on the league.

Interestingly, what drives the NFL's popularity during the regular season (Fantasy Football) may be part of its problem during the postseason. Very few leagues exist that play into the playoffs, so all those casual fans stop caring until the Super Bowl.
 

tshile

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Damn man, that's a lot of tickets left. I like the military family thing, that's cool, but also a sad reflection on the league.

Interestingly, what drives the NFL's popularity during the regular season (Fantasy Football) may be part of its problem during the postseason. Very few leagues exist that play into the playoffs, so all those casual fans stop caring until the Super Bowl.
i think the playoff games will pull great ratings numbers over the weekend and the NFL will dominate the weekend on TV for the next few weeks leading up to the super bowl.

i don't know if fantasy football ties to people going to the game. i hope not. i can't stand those fans.
 

tshile

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proposal:
every fan gets a challenge flag that can be thrown once per game.


bet more fans would go to the stadium then!

could you imagine the TV that'd make for? on a really bad call having 60+ thousand red flags rain all over the field like a hat trick in hockey?

that'd be awesome
 

tshile

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Colts and Packers are sold out.

Cincinnati has until 4...
They said on twitter yesterday afternoon they had 3,500 tickets to sell. No reports on what the number is now.
 

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