by Pat Freeman
The Buffalo Bills recently rejected the new black out rule for their home games in western New York . The reason given was that the Buffalo Bills as an organization are driven by ticket sales, and choose not to participate in the NFL voluntary 85% capacity rule. This agreement with the NFL was assisted by local Congressman Brian Higgins who hoped that the Bills would decide to reward its fans by participating in this new voluntary rule by the NFL. Well there are just a few problems with this new rule that I hope many of you are aware of, if not I’ve decided to bring these up for discussion.
1. This rule involves general seating in which the home owner splits the gate with the opposing owner by 60%- 40%.
2. Very few Buffalo Bills non sell out games even made 85% capacity
The real problem that many are failing to look at is the only home games that don’t sell out in western New York occur in either late November, or December. So in reality it was the right decision for the Bills organization to choose not to participate in the new program for TV Black outs. The problem comes with the less than truthful explanation given by Russ Brandon on why the Bills should not participate. You see if the Bills organization was truthful behind their attendance struggles it would prove why the Bills need a new stadium with a retractable roof, and right now the current ownership wants to stay at the facility in Orchard Park . Even though there attendance problems over the last few years has more to do with weather than the less than stellar teams they have been fielding. The Bills and the County Executive ’s office refuse to admit the best scenario for the Bills is a new stadium in downtown Buffalo with a retractable roof where weather is not an issue.
Last year Tennessee , Miami , and Denver were all non-sell out games. Each game was played during the month of December shouldn’t that tell you that a major factor in your attendance is inclement weather. This year the Bills have the same problem with Jacksonville , and St Louis coming to town on December 2, 9th… Now the Jets close the year out here on December 30 but that game could have play off implications, and could sell out in time for the black out to be lifted because of our division. But the two previous games that I mentioned are just a hard sell when weather conditions are a factor on a segment of your population that can’t take the cold weather.
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