Buffalo Rising tweeted about there not being enough outrage over tv blackouts in taxpayer subsidized stadiums. There is a valid point there, but I think we’ve all been beaten into submission. While watching my own employer treated like the stinky dinner guest during a Legislative tomfoolery a few weeks ago, I can only imagine the battle royal waiting for when the Buffalo Bills look to various governments for the latest modernizations for the stadium that has inspired no development in its 30 years of existence. The Bills Chief Executive duly noted that the Bills could buy the remaining tickets to end a blackout, but never have and aren’t about to start because “they don’t want to devalue season tickets.”
Since he apparently thinks we’re idiots, let me retort. The lousy product devalues season tickets. An extended losing streak and most of them blowouts tends to temper enthusiasm, slow merchandise, extinguish interest and breed apathy. You put a decent, competitive product forth and everything gets better: players want to play here, attendence (As even the Rob Johnson era Bills demonstrated) goes up, viewership on tv goes up which triggers more ad revenue, and hell, you even sell more merchandise.
But, when the team has been as 1971-era depressing as it has been of late, there should be a little more forward thinking. I mean every Erie County resident already has a little financial skin in the game. If the Bills swooped in at 12:59 on Thursday, I bet nobody going to the Stadium would feel devalued. The team could get a public relations coup with a Christmas ticket giveaway to fans who can’t swing the ticket fee. Channel 4 gets a Tebow game and ad revenues for the team, CBS locally and nationally go up and if they win, some Bills merch might get peddled on all those Boxing week trips to the mall next week.
If you televise it, they will still come.