It's not us this time
Apparently, the NFL can no longer use lack of on-field success as an excuse for poor attendance in these horrid economic times.
Even good teams are having trouble selling games out.
While the Cincinnati Bengals (8-3) are one of the NFL’s surprise teams, that apparently hasn’t correlated into a spike in attendance, as the franchise is in jeopardy of having its 50-game streak of sellouts — regular season and playoffs — snapped when the Lions visit Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals still had 3,500 tickets remaining at the 1 p.m. Thursday deadline, forcing the NFL to give the AFC North-leading franchise a 24-hour deadline extension for the fourth time in seven home games. The Cincinnati paper reported that the team had similar trouble selling out home games against Houston (Oct. 18) and division rival Baltimore (Nov. 8).
Of course, blackouts are nothing new to Lions fans. Of the six home games to date this season, three — including both of the Lions’ wins — have been excluded from local television viewing. The only sellouts have been the Thanksgiving Day game (on the heels of a blacked out, come-from-behind win against the Browns four days earlier), the Steelers game (with plenty of help from Pennsylvanians) and the home opener against the Vikings, after an extension.
Eleven other games have been blacked out this season, through 12 weeks of play. While extensions have been issued to some of the NFL’s bottom-feeders (St. Louis, Oakland and Detroit), some of the league’s elite teams have needed an extra day to avoid blackouts. Defending NFC champ Arizona has gotten extensions four times, and San Diego three.