Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I heard on Mike and Mike this morning that there were 22 blackouts in the NFL last year. And more could be coming this year. That seems amazing, and I was sure that there were almost none, but apparently some of the struggling teams (Oakland, Tampa, Seattle) have had blackouts.

Last year was the first year in quite a few that I didn’t attend at least one Broncos game live. Or some other game. A couple years ago I saw the Seahawks in Seattle, and I’ve seen a few other teams over the years. I enjoy going to live games, and saw the Rockies last week with a friend in town, and am planning on another Rockies game this weekend with my two sons.

It’s not just local games. When I go to Kansas City next month, I’ll attend a Royals game there, and earlier this year I saw the Charlotte Bobcats when I attended SQL Saturday #33. In the past I’ve also gone to see the Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners, New York Knicks, and a few other teams while traveling. I usually check for a game, and was hoping I’d see the Knicks again in Nov, but they’re not in town.

As I looked for tickets this summer for half price games, I didn’t get any, and decided not to bother. My kids aren’t thrilled with sitting there for the games, and even some friends would rather watch on TV. If the Broncos got blacked out, I’d be fine watching other games. It’s not that I’m not a fan, but it’s not necessarily something that’s worth paying a lot for.

What would get me down to watch the games live? Prices for one. It’s expensive, and while it’s not crazy, it adds up. However it’s more than the pricing. There are a number of other things that bother me.

At Rockies games, it’s pretty well policed. Granted the game moves a little slower, but the ushers there do a good job of managing the people and preventing fights or profanity from getting out of hand. A quick complaint to an usher usually gets a single warning before someone is escorted out. I admire the passion from football fans, but I would prefer that they keep their language in check with kids around. The last two games I’ve taken kids to have had cursing, screaming matches within a few rows of us, and a fight within 3 rows of us at each game.

Apart from that, it’s hard to go get food and drink at Bronco’s stadium for the kids. The last few times I’ve done that, I’ve missed a substantial portion of the game, usually about 10+ minutes of game time to get a soda. It’s crazy. That alone makes me want to just stay home. When I add in the 3+ hours of getting there and back, it’s a full day of my life and not necessarily worth it.

What’s the solution? I’d pay for local Bronco’s games on TV, but I can’t get them. DirecTV has the NFL Sunday Ticket, but it’s $300. That’s a lot, and not necessarily worth it. If I could get just my team for $50-80, I’d just do it. Or buy a couple teams, but there’s no option. That would be one way to get more local money, with a special split for the local team.

There’s too much money floating around, and too much being made of driving revenue forward for this to sustain. The owners, the league, they need to take a step back and show they appreciate fans, not just try to milk a few more million out of their business.

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