In an effort to make the game more accessible and thereby more fan-friendly, the NFL announced this week that it plans on relaxing their blackout policy, which would keep games (mostly involving teams in small markets) from being shown locally if said game didn’t sell out.
Under the new rules, the league confirmed this week, teams will have the option to lower the minimum ticket sales figure needed to avoid a blackout to 85 percent. That is, if an owner wants to avoid a local blackout, they would need just 85 percent of tickets to be sold.
Here’s the caveat though: If an owner lowers their minimum ticket sales to 85 percent to avoid a blackout, and the remaining 15 percent are sold, a greater percentage of that revenue will go to the visiting team.
"It's optional if clubs want to do this and would only affect a few teams," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, via CBSSports.com. "Last year only 6 percent of games were blacked out in a local market. This figure is down significantly from 15 to 20 years ago when 25 to 30 percent of games were routinely blacked out."
"If a team chooses to do so, it may set its capacity number needed for a blackout to be lifted at 85 percent of overall capacity. More revenue than usual will be shared with the visiting clubs for tickets sold above that base number."
Of course, if you’re a local Dallas Cowboys fan--which seems likely if you’re reading this blog--you’ve never had to worry much about blackouts.
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