INDIANAPOLIS — Blackout deadlines and teams’ struggles to sell out Wild Card playoff games has become a hot topic in the NFL, including right here in Indianapolis.
The NFL granted the Indianapolis Colts a second extension to its blackout rule, moving the deadline to sell out this weekend’s game against Kansas City to Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Some fans questioned why there aren’t enough takers to fill the stadium for the game.
“This is a Colts town, a football town, and it surprises me they haven’t sold as many as you’d think they would,” fan Jared Mackey said.
“We usually look for tickets during the year and they’re all sold out so (for a) playoff game (to not sell out), I’m really surprised,” fan Keith Hinsey said.
Still, you probably shouldn’t rush to judgment quite yet.
IUPUI Professor and expert in sports management Jay Gladden said this is a struggle that’s becoming common in the NFL. Green Bay and Cincinnati are also struggling to sell out their respective playoff games this weekend.
“I think it’s much easier for someone to sit on their couch … and watch it on their 60-inch flat screen. (They can) get up, not pay for snacks or beverages and enjoy the game that way,” Gladden said.
Weather is being blamed as one factor, too.
In the Colts case, their closed stadium means weather is less of a problem than in Green Bay or Cincinnati. Gladden thinks other sporting events scheduled Saturday, like IU basketball and the Pacers, are interfering.
Cost is also a big factor many fans told Fox 59 kept them from buying tickets to the game.
Even if you bought the cheapest seats in the house, a trip for two people to see the game will cost you upwards of $200.
“The tickets are a little expensive this time of year so it is a little harder on people,” fan Mitch Mitchell said.
The Colts organization said it will continue to get information out to encourage fans to buy tickets to the game. If it does not sell out by the blackout deadline, local stations including satellite providers would be prevented for airing the game in our region.