Posted December 31, 2013

Bengals, Colts, Packers struggling to sell tickets for Wild-Card Weekend

Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, NFL Playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles
The Bengals are 10,000 tickets shy of a sellout for their wild-card game against the Chargers.

The Bengals are 10,000 tickets shy of a sellout for their wild-card game against the Chargers. (John Grieshop/Getty Images)

The NFL made it through the 2013 regular season with just two games blacked out on local TV due to sluggish ticket sales. Could that number be matched during this weekend’s wild-card round?

Cincinnati, Green Bay and Indianapolis all reportedly have thousands of tickets still available for Saturday’s and Sunday’s action, leaving all three spots in danger of falling shy of a sellout. Teams generally must have all tickets sold out 72 hours prior to a home game or risk that game being blacked out within a 75-mile radius of the stadium.

According to the Indianapolis Star‘s Mike Chappell, the Colts already have asked for and been granted by the league an extension on their window until 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday — 48 hours before Indianapolis’ game with Kansas City. Chappell reported that the Colts were still 6,000 tickets shy of a sellout as of Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, that number was at 10,000 as of late Monday. The Bengals host San Diego at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, meaning they need to unload the remainder of those tickets by Thursday afternoon (or request an extension of their own).

“We need to do everyday what we did today,” Jeff Berding, the team’s director of sales and public affairs, told CincyJungle.com of his hopes that Bengals fans can replicate their ticket-buying pace from Monday.

Perhaps most surprisingly of all, the Packers were furthest of all from a wild-card weekend sellout. The team announced on Monday that 15,000 tickets still remained, following a period of sales to season-ticket holders and then release to the general public. Unlike Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Green Bay did not clinch its playoff bid until this past Sunday, leaving the franchise with less of a headstart.

Green Bay still has the most time left to clear its surplus — 4:40 p.m. ET Thursday is its current cutoff, 48 hours before the Packers play the 49ers.

The fourth home team this weekend, Philadelphia, planned to release some available tickets on Tuesday afternoon. But Leo Carlin, the Eagles’ director of ticket sales, told the Daily Times: “We don’t discuss numbers but it’s an extremely small percentage [of unpurchased tickets].”

Though a snowstorm is supposed to whip through the Midwest and East Coast in the coming days, the weekend’s weather actually looks fairly clear — especially in terms of January football. Philadelphia calls for a high of 30 and partly cloudy conditions Saturday, according to the Weather Channel; Cincinnati has a 50-percent chance of a snow shower Sunday. Green Bay could have the worst forecast: a high of eight degrees and a low of minus-6 Sunday, for a game that will not end before at least 6:30 p.m. local time. Indianapolis has a retractable-roof stadium.

Forbes.com reported that the Packers have the highest-priced ticket of any team hosting a game this weekend, at an average of $349 and a low price of $156 — up 44 percent from regular-season prices.

The Eagles’ average price this weekend is at $318, with Indianapolis and Cincinnati at $203 and $142, respectively.

185 comments
bigphillydaddy
bigphillydaddy

Don't get me wrong I like football, but is it any surprise? The economy stinks, who can afford those prices??!!  Plus the NFL and the Networks (NBC) have gotten so political pushing their anti-gun and gorebal warming agenda.  They got rid of Hank Williams over his own opinion. The owner's make millions, get their stadiums paid with tax dollars, and pay no taxes. The players are obscenely over-paid, and they don't even take care of the older ones who never made a lot of money. And people take this so seriously while the world is falling apart.

SoytaanPapi
SoytaanPapi

Where to Watch NFL Playoffs Wild-Card Weekend Live Online Coverage?

GG-NV
GG-NV

This may be a bit misleading.  The Packers aren't sold out because the tickets went on sale for the playoffs following the Thanksgiving Day drubbing by the Lions when Rogers was out indefinitely and the team didn't look like a real playoff contender, to top it off the new terms of getting playoff tickets are that you had to buy tickets for the entire playoff series with no refund (which is new this year for the Packers, but not other teams).  Instead of a refund, if the Packers didn't make the playoffs or were eliminated before hosting all possible games, the difference is applied to season ticket holder's balance for season tickets next year as an advanced deposit.  So in November and before Xmas spending, it was a tough sell to commit to buying tickets for a series of games with no refund (but a conversion to an advanced deposit next year) for a team that was just destroyed by the Lions and didn't look playoff bound.  


The fact that they sold as many as they did is amazing in the true blue color town of Green Bay.  Remember, the odds at the time were that purchasers were tying up their funds before Christmas shopping and year end bonuses for what was most likely an advanced deposit on billing due late next spring for season tickets. 

Joe R2
Joe R2

I'm surprised the Packers haven't sold out yet.  There's nothing else to do in that little village but watch football so I'm not sure why there are so many unsold tickets...

zonkeriah
zonkeriah

Screw the NFL.  The league has completely lost sight of what has made it so great - grass roots fans. This soaring greed will bite them in the arse eventually. Games are much better on TV, anyway, so why would they arrogantly expect people to pay absurd amounts of ransom money on tickets? College games are much more fun to attend (even smaller local schools),  if you want the live football experience. 

leon1376
leon1376

The solution is easy. Hire some gay players. Lots of gay players. And women players too. That'll get people coming out to the stadiums. Especially if you combined a playoff game with Gay Appreciation Night sponsored by NOW and PETA and GOG's? . .

Speaking of gays and girls, why doesn't Barry Soetero ever go to a football game? Just think, if Barry and Reggie went to a game, they'd sell the place out. After all, isn't his wife a big WNBA fan? 

Bring those P_ussy Riot chicks over for the halftime entertainment. How cool would that be? 

Why is it always up to me to come up with these brilliant ideas? 

Cool
Cool

Yeah, black out play off games... great PR for the NFL.  If the NFL wants to hurry up the decision being made by the FCC all they need to do is black out these games and let the politicians from these cities have their say.  

x72
x72

Whoa, rumors swirling right now that Aaron Rodgers is about to announce that he's gay. Wonder what the Duck Dynasty people think about this...safe to say they won't be rooting for the packers.

AlainLapointe
AlainLapointe

How can you charge more than $100 for a show you can watch on HD at home . Doesn't make sense , especially in places like Green Bay , at - 20 from 200' and more .

Ken14
Ken14

And this year, the Superbowl’s in an open stadium at the Giants Met Life in the dead of winter.  No tailgating parties allowed.  With the skyrocketing prices for this game, only the corporate executives and the millionaires will attend---and I hope they all freeze their collective butts off.  Smart move NFL. / 


Frotoon
Frotoon

8000 tickets to go. If I lived in Cincy, I'd definitely go for it.  Forget the regular season. You wait all year, sometimes several years, for the playoffs. Good luck. It will really suck to everyone else in the area if the fans don't support their team in the stadium. And the more fans that show up and make noise, the greater the homefield advantage.

RickEger
RickEger

Good the N.F.L.'s getting knocked down a peg!

rma101560
rma101560

I have the best seat in the house and the restroom and kitchen are just steps away.  Why would I pay ridiculous ticket, parking and concession prices?  Not to mention the traffic and overall hassle.

namrogm
namrogm

I'm an average, middle class guy, but I would pay a big ticket price for one thing and it's not a football game -- especially when I can see it much better on TV.  I would pay thousands if Vince Lombardi rose from his grave and spent a day with me talking football strategy.  Am I asking too much?  OK, then Knute Rockne, Pop Warner, Red Grange, Jim Thorpe -- I'd settle for a day with one of those guys.  Any offers?

Mark20
Mark20

I've been to three NFL games in my life. No interest in ever going again. Big screen, HD, food in the kitchen, nice and warm and dry. Why bother, especially at those prices.

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

Gee and the NFL are thinking adding more playoffs games and teams. I think they are losing focus. People are learning now how much that O care is hitting the wallet and something has to give. It may be those season tickets they've enjoyed over the years.

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711

Pathetic that Titletown isn't already sold out.  Of course, most fans probably realize the Niners are going to destroy the Packers... so better off staying home.


parkbrav
parkbrav

I've never been able to afford a live game. No interest either. Does the NFL allow binoculars into the stadium?

btcvsolo
btcvsolo

It's all a personal choice, but I for one, abhor attending live NFL games. Been to exactly 3; a Saints/Falcons game & 2 Super Bowls; the latter of which was more for the party than the game. You can't see anything...just a bunch of people running this way or that. Can't smoke. Can't drink unless you have a designated driver, additional costs to attend a game (food/parking, etc) way too expensive for the value, the list goes on. 


I'll take NFL RedZone or Sunday Ticket ANY day (OK, and game day) over the abomination of a live event...

CasinoGal
CasinoGal

Have we finally reached the tipping point? Geez, you can buy a whole year of Sunday Ticket for the cost of one seat.

PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

In Philly, the few seats that are still available are obstructed view or SRO.  And the team charges full price for those tickets.  It's really very silly because every seat in the Linc is sold out.  

MattPolley
MattPolley

The NFL is literally pricing itself out of existence. Small market economies (Indy, Buffalo, etc.) will soon find they can't sellout games anymore because the average fan won't be able to afford them.

JosephBagadoughnutz
JosephBagadoughnutz

and if it were jon sandusky in cleveland, they would sell out the little seats

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

I'd rather watch football on TV in my den. The view is better, it's more comfortable, and the bartender makes a hell of a drink.

FMX
FMX

Thats the problem the tickets are too hign. The falcons are getting a new stadium here in Atlanta that will cost  over 1.2 billion dollars. I find it strange that the Georgia dome was built for 300 million and it is larger than the new stadium. 1.2 billion for a smaller stadium and higher ticket prices.

Kingpindrs
Kingpindrs

@Joe R2 Hey Joe... How do you know that there is nothing else to do in Green Bay other than to watch Football?.... Do you live there? .... The Metro area population is over 300,000 and by the way Wisconsin people are Party animals.  You can live in LA and have noting to do if you choose too.

tehbobb
tehbobb

@leon1376 Those are all terrible ideas, terrible, terrible ideas.

Joe R2
Joe R2

@x72 


They'll be the first rednecks to root AGAINST the Packers.  

Frotoon
Frotoon

To cheer loudly and give your team an advantage?

There's a reason the Seahawks have the best home field advantage in the league.

mike202
mike202

@namrogm None of those guys would even recognize the game today.

Frotoon
Frotoon

Did you know that women often like being taken out to fun things?

AlainLapointe
AlainLapointe

Of course , everybody remember what the 'Great Antelope ' and his 'All World ' O' line did from 1st and goal from the 2 at New Orleans !!

Scramble
Scramble

@parkbravYou can take them into a Ravens game, just not in the case that you bought them in. This past year it had to be in a see through baggie. Damn those binocular bombs.

Frotoon
Frotoon

You shouldn't smoke anyway.

Thomas15
Thomas15

@btcvsolo Agree 100%. The best place to watch the NFL is my big chair in front of my big screen TV. Every time I've gone a game I've regretted it and felt like I missed the game itself for the event of going to it. Was seriously considering flying into Dallas for the Eagles game Sunday night but I didn't want to miss the game. 

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

@MattPolley Ya at a time when millions of people are going to pay huge monthly premiums on their insurance, game tickets are going to be a real luxury most can't afford. 

vishACE1
vishACE1

@MattPolley  its not the NFL my friend, it would be the consumers whom double the face value when selling the tickets. 


Cool
Cool

@FMX It is like going to McDonald's and getting a quarter pounder with cheese for 3  bucks and then the next day going to a fancy restaurant and ordering a gourmet hamburger for 12 bucks... The difference is that that the gourmet hamburger will contain less meat, therefore it will be healthier and save you medical bills in the future, so paying the higher price for less suddenly makes sense.... right?     

LarryOliver
LarryOliver

@Frotoon Yeah....the front runners jumped on board. Remember how loud the kingdown was? Yeah, me either. 

Cool
Cool

@Frotoon Yes, and then after the game you can take them duck hunting, followed by watching them prepare the duck you shot and let them cook it for you while you re watch the game on your big screen.  You big ole romantic stud.

parkbrav
parkbrav

@Scramble@parkbrav LOL right. Does anyone know what the rules are for other parks? Do they sell them at other parks? I would imagine that it is hard to view the game without binoculars at such distances

JimStumbo
JimStumbo

@ImmaFubared @MattPolley They could just create a law that you must attend one NFL game in person each year or pay a tax.  According to SCOTUS, that is completely legal and constitutional.

JimStumbo
JimStumbo

@vishACE1 @MattPolley No, it is not the resale of the tickets.  This is the face value of the tickets.  If it was people reselling the tickets, then all the tickets would have been purchased from the NFL, and the game would be a sellout.

William56
William56

@Cool @FMX How can Anything contain less meat than a McDonalds burger? 

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@parkbrav@Scramble 

I doubt they sell binoculars at the stadiums . You don't need them to see the game.  The action of course looks farther away than it is on tv, but you can see all 22 players at once.  You can see the play developing better than on tv.