The NFL bills itself as the top sports league in America with excellent TV ratings and sellouts across the country. But something strange is happening this weekend as the NFL is having trouble selling tickets to three of its four wildcard playoff games, including one at legendary Lambeau Field.
As of yesterday morning, the Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers game was about 8,500 tickets short of a sellout, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. If the Packers don’t sell out by 3:40 p.m. today the game will be blacked out on local TV. An almost inconceivable idea. T
The situation is the same in Cincinnati,where there are about 8,000 tickets left unsold.
And also in Indianapolis, where the Colts need to sell 5,500 tickets for their game against the Chiefs before Thursday afternoon to become a sellout and avoid a local television blackout.
So why the lack of interest in attending what look to be some great playoff games? Part of the reason is cost. Once you add on parking, beer and food onto of already high ticket prices, attending a game is becoming difficult for the average fan across the country.
Plus with many sports fans having HD TV’s at home now, the thought of sitting in the cold and snow in Green Bay and Cincinnati to watch the game is not as appealing to the average fan as watching the game at home where they can easily discuss the game with friends online.
The true fan will always attend the game, but the lack of sellouts has to have the NFL really worried. Yes all three games might sell out and the local television blackout scare will be forgotten. But the NFL better not ignore what’s happening this week. It’s not a good sign for the future.