Bills trying to avoid Sunday blackout

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon said Wednesday morning that the team still has about 1,600 tickets to sell to avoid a blackout of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

"We do have some tickets to move. We've had a pretty good couple of days," Brandon told the Howard Simon Show on WGR 550 in Buffalo. "Tickets are moving briskly and we're confident we'll be able to get the game sold out."

Per NFL rules, the Bills have until 1 p.m. Thursday to sell out the game in order to avoid a local television blackout.

Brandon said that the Bills will not buy unused tickets to keep the game televised in the local area.

"I don't see that happening. Our ticket prices are amongst the lowest in the league, if not the lowest. It's far different from other markets," Brandon said. "We need to have all of our business verticals on full-speed ahead to continue the viability in our market, with our seats, our club seats, our sponsorships. Our focus is to make sure we move the inventory."

Brandon said the earliest blackout he can recall in his tenure with the team was on Oct. 31, 2004, when the Bills defeated the Arizona Cardinals.

"The schedule from a fan standpoint was probably the best layout we've seen in my 17 years here," Brandon said. "I think three home games in September may have something to do with [the possibility of a blackout]."

The Bills play just two games at Ralph Wilson Stadium after Nov. 3, and Brandon said the team has "a lot of work to do" in selling out its late-season games.

"Cincinnati and Kansas City, there are a lot of tickets available for those games," Brandon said. "Later in the season, the Jets and Dolphins, there's still plenty of inventory there."