One of the biggest complaints by fans of the NFL is the league’s strict sellout policy. And now, thanks to a softening of the rules, more fans may be able to watch America’s most popular sport.According to Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal, NFL owners have passed a new rule that will allow individual teams to decide how many tickets must be sold to avoid a blackout, with the number based on a percentage of the stadium’s capacity. According to the report, teams can avoid blackouts by selling as few as 85% of the available tickets, with the exact percentage decided by each team.
Under the old rule, NFL games were blacked out locally if the game wasn’t sold out. On the surface, these seems like a rare occurrence, as only 16 games were blacked out in 2011. But that represents one out of every 16 games (6.3%). And that is too much for a league built on billion dollar television deals.
As more and more fans choose the at-home experience over going to games, the NFL is at risk of losing these fans all together. So instead of blackmailing the fans into attending games, the league will instead now focus on making the experience at the stadiums more enticing.
And in the end, everybody wins.
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