For the first time in seven years, the Cincinnati Bengals failed to sell all of their non-premium seats against the Buffalo Bills last weeks, breaking a streak of 57 straight sellouts that dated back to a 34-27 win over the Houston Texans on November 9, 2003. Cincinnati has struggled to sell out Paul Brown Stadium even during the team's playoff run last season, forcing local companies and even players to chip in to make sure the stadium sold out and local fans could see their favorite team. So it wasn't much of a surprise that the struggling Bengals and Bills couldn't draw enough interest, or at least much of a convincing argument to spend the money.
What do you expect when the cheapest ticket on the Bengals.com website is $65 dollars for seats furthest away from the action -- and that action is basically the result of a 2-9 team that's drawing nightmares of the team's awful existence for over ten years predating Marvin Lewis?
It stood a reasonable chance that the former Super Bowl Champions, the New Orleans Saints, could generate more interest for a sellout on Sunday. Not even close.
Joe Reedy is already declaring that Cincinnati's 6th home game this season will not be sold out and thus blacked out this weekend. It won't be official until 72 hours before kick off -- or 1pm Thursday afternoon -- but there's little (if any) reason to hope for a surge in ticket sales. If you're inside a 75-mile radius from Paul Brown Stadium, you will be affected. You will, however, also have access to NFL.com's Game Rewind, allowing you to watch the game several days after it's aired.
What could be even more distressing for football fans is that if you're in Cincinnati, you won't have any NFL football during the 1-4pm time slot. FOX has the doubleheader this weekend, meaning that CBS will only air one game. Since Cincinnati's game is blacked out, the NFL will not replace that with another game. And in the Cincinnati area, CBS is airing the Oakland at San Diego game at 4pm. What this means? So unless you have NFL Ticket, or know the places on the internet, you will have no football from 1-4pm.
There stands a good reason that the Bengals won't sell out another home game this year, writes Reedy:
Of the three remaining home games, this was the one that had the lowest inventory because it was packaged in a four-game plan earlier in the season that included the Baltimore and Pittsburgh games.