Thursday, October 7, 2010
Bills announce first blackout in 27 games
Ten years of failing to make the playoffs and four straight defeats to open the season have finally impacted the Buffalo Bills' box office.
The Bills officially announced Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars will be blacked out on local television because they couldn't sell enough tickets.
Ralph Wilson Stadium hasn't had a game blacked out since the season finale in 2006. The Bills have sold out every game from then on, a remarkable streak of 26 straight.
The streak almost certainly will end, although the Bills still have three days to sell their remaining tickets. They went into the week with about 12,000 tickets unsold and probably haven't unloaded many. If they were close to selling out, then they could have asked the NFL for an extension from the 1 p.m. Thursday blackout deadline.
Other games that might not sell out include Week 10 against the Detroit Lions and Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns.
The Bills have been able to keep selling out despite one winning record (9-7 in 2004) in the past decade. They've sold out 54 of their past 58 games.
Buffalo has a loyal fan base, the NFL's second-cheapest average ticket price and, since 2008, only seven games in its season-ticket package. The Bills sold off five regular-season games and three preseason exhibitions to Toronto promoters for $78 million.
A Buffalo News story this week stated the Bills sold 43,925 season tickets this year, down 11,383 from last year.