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Bengals losing confidence that game will sell out by TV deadline

The Cincinnati Bengals released a statement on Tuesday that Sunday's game may not sell out by Thursday's deadline unless the rate of ticket sales increases.

The Cincinnati Bengals are losing confidence that Sunday's game will sell out by Thursday's deadline.

The team announced Tuesday afternoon that they've finally dipped below 10,000 unsold tickets for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, which actually started with a number around 15,000 -- rather than the "well over 10,000" that was previously released.

"After winning the AFC North Division two weekends ago, the Club redoubled its efforts to move all remaining unsold seats to our home playoff game – approximately 15,000 tickets," said Jeff Berding, Bengals director of sales and public affairs. "Sales over the last week have been steady, and the number of unsold tickets has dipped below 10,000. We are appreciative of that response."

However, Berding doesn't foresee the game selling out before Thursday's deadline unless there's the rate of ticket sales increases.

"NFL playoff games are rare and wonderful chances for communities to showcase their communities in front of a national TV audience of roughly 30 million viewers," said Berding. "The Club appreciates the support we are seeing and remains excited about next Sunday’s game. However, we need to be candid that -- unless the rate of daily sales increases -- we will not achieve a sellout, and the game will not be televised in Cincinnati, Dayton or Lexington, Ky., per NFL policy."

The deadline to reach a sell out and lift the black out in those markets is Thursday, Jan. 2 at 1 p.m. If the Bengals fail to sell out, it will be the third known black out in playoff history. The last being 2002 when Miami failed to sell out against the Baltimore Ravens -- the other was the Greatest Comeback in playoff history between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers.

Tickets for Sunday’s game may be purchased on-line through Ticketmaster, and fans can quickly reach the correct Ticketmaster web page through a prominent link on the home page of Fans also may contact Ticketmaster by phone at 800-745-3000.

Tickets also may be purchased through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 513-621-3550, or toll-free at 866-621-8383 (TDTD), or in person at the Paul Brown Stadium ticket office. The Hotline and the ticket office will be open until 7 o’clock tonight, and from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. tomorrow (New Year’s Day)