Saints Games in B.R. All to be Televised
Saints' games in B.R. all to be televised
NFL decides to lift its blackout policy
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
By Jim Kleinpeter, Times-Picayune
BATON ROUGE -- While the Saints can't seem to get a break on the field lately, their fans got a big one Tuesday.
The NFL announced the four Saints' games scheduled at Tiger Stadium will not be subject to the blackout policy and will be televised in the New Orleans area whether or not they are sold out.
With the Saints based in San Antonio, their fan base scattered and the Superdome severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the NFL gave the go-ahead for networks to broadcast the games as a gesture of good will.
"Due to the extraordinary circumstances that have affected the Gulf Coast region, the New Orleans Saints' home games being played in Baton Rouge this season will be televised locally regardless of their sellout status," was the statement released by the league.
"We had to be thorough and consider the totality of the situation in making this ruling," said Seth Palansky, NFL director of media relations. "It is unprecedented to have an NFL team playing home games in three different cities in three different states."
"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the entire Gulf Coast region in this difficult time and hope the decision ensuring Saints games are televised locally will benefit those unable to attend in person at Tiger Stadium."
The Saints play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at 3 p.m., Chicago Bears on Nov. 6, Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 4 and Carolina Panthers on Dec. 18, all in LSU's Tiger Stadium.
The Saints announced they had sold 50,478 tickets for Sunday's game through the end of the business day Monday but did not release figures through Tuesday. They are making 79,000 tickets available.
"I think it's a nice gesture," said Marie Knutson, who served as president of the now-defunct Saints Fan Club for 20 years. She said she hadn't missed a home game in 33 years.
"I've had three back surgeries, and I wasn't going to go," she said. "There are a lot of people who physically can't go. Now they can take a break from cleaning out their homes or cutting Sheetrock."
Normally, blackout exceptions are rare. The policy was put in place to protect game ticket sales. Games that are not sold out at least 72 hours in advance of the kickoff are not televised in the local area where the game is played. The NFL will often grant teams a 24-hour extension if a sellout appears to be imminent, but the league chose to make all of the games exempt.
This will mark the third time the league has made an exception, one involving the Saints and the other less than a week ago. The Saints' first game in San Antonio, against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 2, fell short of a sellout at the Alamodome, but the blackout was lifted in San Antonio because of the short amount of time for ticket sales.
The Saints' second game in San Antonio was a sellout, but was not televised there because the Fox network affiliate selected the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game instead.
Last Sunday's scheduled game between the Kansas City Chiefs at Miami was moved up two days because of the approaching Hurricane Wilma. That game was not a sellout but was shown locally in south Florida.
TICKETS GOING: Mike Feder, who is overseeing all Saints business operations in Baton Rouge, said a limited number of lower sideline seats are available for the Miami game at $89 apiece and that more than 20,000 lower end zone ($55) and lower corner ($70) tickets also are available. He said there are a significant amount of suites still available and that anyone wanting a suite should e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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RE: Saints Games in B.R. All to be Televised
Great news......just hope the players show up and win...
need a W bad........
It'll probably be shown here in Tallahassee 'cause of the Dolphins market. Maybe not.
Good news for you folks in SE LA who have no plans to attend. Wonder what the television announcement will do to ticket sales?
I think its the NFL committe overseeing television sticking it to Benson because he's not showing ANY love toward the region.
C'mon Tom, lead by example or someone will show you the hard way (again!)
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