As if Week 1 wasn't enough gloom and doom in Buffalo Bills nation, team CEO Russ Brandon said last week that four home games are in danger of being blacked out on local television. While the first three home dates of the year are sold out, the final four are in serious jeopardy of missing the cut.
"We have a long way to go with the four remaining games, and right now Miami [Nov. 15] is in peril of not being sold out for a prime-time game," Brandon said.
According to his numbers, each of Buffalo's three December games have more than 20,000 tickets remaining. Those games were likely to be tough sells regardless of the opponent, but annual bottom-dwellers in the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams may have sealed the deal with fans. The team's final game against the New York Jets will likely depend on whether or not the Bills are in the playoff race.Ticket figures were unavailable for the Toronto home date, but despite lackluster support up north, Rogers Communications has managed to "sell out" the games and broadcast each contest in the Bills Toronto Series.
The November 15 Thursday night game also has roughly 9,000 tickets available. A prime time game not selling out would be hard to swallow for the Bills and WBBZ, who ponied up a reported $100,000 to air the game locally.
"That's a lot of inventory to move in the next two months," Brandon told The Buffalo News.
Big talk this off-season revolved around the NFL changing the blackout policy, but proponents of that new policy should take this into account - the team would have to sell 51,000 of 60,000 seats to reach the 85 percent threshold for the new policy. The only game even close to that now is the Thursday night game. To top if off, it would have cost the Bills hundreds of thousands of dollars from the games that did sell out.
All in all, this team better play well and soon so it's in a playoff race come December if they want to sell games out. Entercom, meanwhile, may be poised to make a boatload off the radio rights they purchased earlier this year.