The Wall Street Journal reports that the NFL is going to loosen the blackout rules.
Team owners passed a rule that will let games be broadcast, even if just 85 percent of the tickets have been sold.
If that rule had been in place last year, not one Buccaneer game would have been blacked out.
To me, the rules are outdated. They have been in place for 40 years and created in a time when teams needed ticket revenue. Now, stadiums are cash cows and television revenue is the big money maker for teams and owners.
The Wall Street Journal reports that attendance is dropping league wide in the last five years. So along with loosening the blackout rule—teams are also trying to make the game experience better for fans in the stands.
Here is what they are looking to do this year:
1. NFL fans will be able to see the replays that refs look at in controversial plays.
2. Stadium PA announcers will be able to fire up the crowd, and get the home field advantage working.
3. The league wants to bring in free Wifi to all of the stadiums, and eventually have smart phone apps that will allow fans to hear players who have been miked up on the field.
Here is what else I think they need to do: I know teams like the Bucs have cut ticket prices, but everything else is still way too high on game day, from food to concessions.
And it's not just the Bucs, the Rays, the Lightning, all of their prices from concessions to merchandise is too expensive.
In my opinion, they can make the stadiums fan friendly, and no one does it better than the Lightning and Rays. But they still need to drop prices, and quit gouging fans when it comes to hot dogs and beverages—there is no reason why a hot dog should cost $8.
You can improve the game day product, but if the prices are too high, I still don't think fans will show up.
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