The Buffalo Bills and owner Ralph Wilson, Jr. have opted not to impliment the NFL’s new blackout policy during the 2012 season. The team cites business economics as the main reason for not using the new policy, and the decision has been met with mixed reviews from fans.
Earlier this year, team owners agreed to let home games be broadcast in local markets if a team only sold 85% of tickets. That sounds like a good deal for a franchise that is usually struggling to sell out games by the end of the season, right?
Unfortunately, its’ not quite that cut and dry.
Teams that wanted to participate in the new rule would have to pay a higher portion of ticket proceeds to a league-wide revenue pool – if tickets sales exceeded the threshold.
The team claims (According to WIVB in Buffalo) that they need “the whole 12th man or nothing” and that opting into the relaxed blackout rules could cost the team up to half a million dollars in revenue. People would no longer feel as obligated to buy tickets to games and to make that money back ticket prices would have to increase.
Congressman Brian Higgins, who has been pushing the league to change, says that he is disappointed by the team’s decision. Regarding the decision, Higgins had this to say:
“The Bills could have positioned themselves for maximum economic benefit with a
move by embracing this as an opportunity. They chose not to do it, that is their business, but I think it is disappointing.”
The decision brings with it mixed emotions from the fanbase. While some feel as though the decision proves that the team is about the almighty dollar and not the fans, others realize that at the end of the day it IS a business decision.
What do you think, folks?
Is opting out of the relaxed blackout rules a good move?
or is it just a way for Ralph Wilson to save money?