Since 1973, the NFL has maintained a blackout policy that states that a home game cannot be televised locally if it is not sold out 72 hours prior to its start time. As of Thursday afternoon, the Green Bay Packers still had 3,000 tickets left to sell and had been granted an extension to 4pm on Friday afternoon by which to sell them.
For those of you who are still worried that the team may not sell out, keep something in mind that has been the case for many years: While we may never officially hear about it, most teams have sponsors lined up to buy all remaining tickets and avoid the blackout. The Packers surely have that in place, if needed.
Still, talk of a blackout is not something the Packers faithful are used to hearing or seeing in the news. As long as I can remember, the Packers have had a waiting list for those wanting season tickets that is said to be as long as 25 years.
With the addition of another 7,000 seats at Lambeau Field this past offseason, that list got slightly shorter and offered additional opportunities for fans to get into one of the most historic venues across pro sports. The Packers currently own a streak of 319 consecutive sellout games, with 301 of those being regular season contests. I’m here to tell you that the streak will continue and to have no fear.
Interestingly, the Packers have two local markets: Green Bay and Milwaukee. This means that a television blackout would affect a large portion of the state’s viewing audience, if it got to that point. Again, it won’t. When was the last time that we saw a true TV blackout in a local market? If the Jacksonville Jaguars can tarp thousands of seats in the name of advertising and remove them from the stadium count, I think the Packers can easily fill one of the league’s few Mecca’s.
With regards to obtaining playoff tickets at Lambeau Field, typically the Packers send out an invoice to their season ticket holders to give them first option to buy playoff tickets. It makes sense that they would get first crack at them and that is how it is done with all professional sports. The team’s timing wasn’t the greatest this season, however, as they sent out the invoices the week following the Packers embarrassing 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.