Can Cincinnati sell out its playoff game?

Can Cincinnati sell out its playoff game?
December 31, 2013, 9:45 pm
Share This Post

Ravens unable to solve problems for postseason surge

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton celebrates after Marvin Jones scores a touchdown against the Ravens.

(Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Baltimore, time for you to feel superior to Cincinnati, even though the Bengals are in the playoffs and the Ravens aren’t. And put aside for the moment that the Bengals kept the Ravens from the postseason with Sunday’s victory.

This is about the fans.

By Tuesday afternoon, the first-round playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium between Cincinnati and the San Diego Chargers was still about 10,000 tickets shy of a sellout. NFL rules call for a deadline of Thursday to sell out a game in order to avoid a local blackout.

Unless the deadline is extended, there is an unexpected rush on the box office or some entity steps in and buys up the remaining tickets, Cincinnatians not at the stadium won’t be able to watch their team try to win its first playoff game since 1990.

Playoff tickets cost more than those in the regular season, $86 and $96 in Cincinnati’s case. No one would argue that is cheap. However, it’s hard to imagine that the Ravens would have 10,000 unsold tickets for a home playoff game on a Tuesday afternoon. In fact, it’s hard to imagine this happening to any other team in the AFC North (that’s purely hypothetical for Cleveland, of course).

“We don’t want to be the team that couldn’t sell out a playoff game,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. “If we have to black out the game, that’s not going to be good. A lot of our fans are people who watch on TV.”

The last playoff blackout came in 2002 (2001 season) in Miami, when the Dolphins faced the Ravens.