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Adjusted Ticket Policy Aims to Limit Bengals Fans

Seats purchased through official team and league outlets cannot be transferred until 24 hours before kickoff of Saturday's NFL divisional playoff game at Nissan Stadium.

The Tennessee Titans expect a full house for Saturday’s playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

And franchise officials want to make sure most – if not all – of the 69,000-plus fans who enter Nissan Stadium are there to support the home team. Their hope is that an adjustment to their ticket exchange policy will help that.

No transfers on tickets purchased directly from the team or any NFL-approved ticket sites are allowed until 24 hours before kickoff.

"We want Nissan Stadium to be two-tone blue. And so, by limiting this transfer window, it also limits the number of visiting team fans that we’ll have in the stadium," Brooke Ellenberger, the franchise’s Vice President of Ticketing, told WTVF-TV (Ch. 5) in Nashville. "By limiting that transfer time would limit some of the resale and some of that transfer activity that would happen in advance.”

Cincinnati is fewer than 300 miles from Nashville, which makes it a relatively easy trip for fans from southwest Ohio who desire to attend the game in person. The new policy is designed to makes it more difficult for those fans to shop around for tickets in the days prior to game.

Local support for the Titans has been an occasional hot-button issue over recent seasons. It gained new traction last month when former defensive back Logan Ryan, now a member of the New York Giants, referenced his time with the team. He came to Tennessee in 2017, two years after the team finished tied for the NFL’s worst record in consecutive seasons.

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“I played in a franchise in Tennessee where the fan base was nonexistent,” Ryan said. “You couldn't even get fans to the games, you had to put tickets half off to get fans to the games.”

The Titans sold 99.2 percent of their tickets to the nine home games during the just-completed 2021 regular season. That was tied for the 12th highest percentage in the league. In each case, supporters of the opponent were obvious. In some instances, such as against Buffalo (Oct. 18) and Kansas City (Oct. 24), the presence of those rooting for the visitors was much more obvious.

Tennessee won seven of those nine games en route to a 12-5 overall record and the No. 1 seed for the AFC playoffs. The belief is that homefield advantage through the conference championship game will be an important advantage.

If the Titans defeat the Bengals on Saturday, they will host either the Bills or Chiefs for a second time.

“To be a fan of something, you have to be proud of it, and I think we've done a good job of continuing to make fans proud of this franchise,” left tackle Taylor Lewan said in the heat of the response to Ryan’s comments. “[Coach Mike] Vrabel's done a great job. [General manager] Jon [Robinson] has done a great job, and as we continue to do that, these younger kids, this younger generation that is growing up are wishing they were a Kevin Byard, wishing they were a Taylor Lewan, Jeffery Simmons or Derrick Henry. They get to grow up going to games, and we're not only gaining fans now but for the future to come.

“For the future, I really hope that Nissan Stadium is one of those where, 'Man, it's tough to play there.' We're getting there.”

This week, at least, the front office is doing its part to help.