Despite their 8-0 mark at home this season, the Cincinnati Bengals still need to sell approximately 10,000 more tickets to Sunday's AFC Wild Card game at home against the San Diego Chargers in order to avoid it being blacked out on television.
Jeff Berding, the team's Director of Sales and Public Affairs, told Joe Reedy and Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Monday was a "brisk" day for sales but the franchise, which hasn't won a playoff game since January 1991, needs to remain focused on selling the rest of their tickets to avoid the blackout.
"We had a good day but it is just going to have to continue through the night and hopefully continue to have a strong response over the next couple days. It can’t let up. We have to continue to have the type of day we had today every day this week.”
Berding had a conference call with officials from the NFL league office and said they have offered additional assistance to sell the tickets to Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has also joined in the effort, appearing with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis at a team press conference on Monday to urge people to purchase tickets:
“It’s going to be a great week for Cincinnati, so I would ask all of you to help me make it a great city by doing what I did. I personally bought two tickets today and I’m asking all of you to come down and show your pride for the Bengals, show your pride for downtown, show your pride for the wonderful team that Marvin Lewis has put together.”
Revenue from the ticket prices ultimately goes toward the league and since the NFL sets the prices, no deals cannot be made by the Bengals with potential customers. In 2011, the team offered buy-one-get-one-free deals to season ticket holders because of a large inventory of tickets that were still available for the team's season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. SI WIRE: Report: Jets only willing to extend Rex Ryan one year