Last season and through the first four games this year, whether or not the Bengals would sellout, forcing the next game to be blacked out, was enduring. On the typical Monday, we'd hear how far away the team was from selling out. After an update on Tuesday, Wednesday began the "it's impossible" that the Bengals will sellout headlines. After local companies and networks bought out the remaining tickets, the Bengals would officially sellout and the game would be on television.
Until they played the Buffalo Bills.
Since the Bengals broke their 57 games sellout streak on November 21, headlines that followed regarding ticket sales became nothing more than due-diligence. We haven't expected the team to sellout and when a report surfaces regarding ticket troubles, our typical reaction is the same as, say, breathing.
On Thursday, the Bengals announced that their home season finale against the San Diego Chargers didn't sellout, therefore making the team's fourth straight home game blacked out locally, which is defined as a 75-mile radius from Paul Brown Stadium.
According to Joe Reedy, the Bengals are averaging seven thousand less in attendance through the previous three home games, compared to the season's first four games.
It's not surprising that the Bengals weren't able to sellout against the Bills. But Cincinnati failed to sellout against the Cleveland Browns for the first time in 31 years. And it's not like San Diego and New Orleans are terrible teams that have no demand to be seen live, say like the Lions. Still, it's hard not to understand that a tough local economy combined with uncontrolled anger with the team's front office would eventually lead to this.