The Cincinnati Bengals have announced that they've reached the 85 percent threshold Thursday afternoon.. meaning that Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans won't be blacked out locally.
The team sent this press release:
Ticket sales for this Sunday’s 1 p.m. Bengals game against the Tennessee Titans have reached the threshold to clear the game for live television coverage in the Bengals home market. The game will be aired on WKRC-TV (Channel 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Channel 7) in Dayton and WKYT-TV (Channel 27) in Lexington, Ky.
While the Bengals have accepted an NFL option to have blackouts lifted this season with 85 percent of non-premium tickets sold, good seats on all three levels of Paul Brown Stadium remain available for the Titans game. These can be purchased by calling the Bengals Ticket Hotline during business hours at 513-621-8383 or toll free at 866-621-8383. Tickets also can be purchased at any time through Bengals.com.
The organization began the week with a pessimistic viewpoint on their overall chance to sell out Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. Bengals ticket sales manager Andrew Brown tweeted on Tuesday that they were "well short" of the 85 percent threshold and that the "game is not expected to air on local TV." Over the week, the team began feeling a bit more optimistic when sales began increasing, but Brown added that "we still have a lot of ground to cover in the next 1-2 days to avoid a blackout."
Many suspect that the team is playing a dangerous game by releasing worrisome updates so that potential buyers will consume the remaining 15 percent that's not required to lift the television blackout. On the other hand, team officials are making the rounds with the local media to really push sales, pointing out the negative impact a television blackout would have with the team.
As for the reasons that the team is struggling to sell out, cost, comfort at home and less-than-great experiences at PBS are justified, but it doesn't help local fans who can't afford to go, nor the team who wants to hear deafening support on third downs.