Yesterday a Fox 59 report broke the news that the Colts would still blackout games if general bowl seating was not sold out. The NFL recently announced that it was relaxing its blackout policy to the point that teams could still televise home games in their primary market with as little as 85% of the general bowl seating sold. The teams must choose their threshold before the beginning of the season, and once teams choose, they can’t adjust it at a later date.
There has been significant outrage from fans and media alike at the Colts’ decision to stick to selling out the general bowl before televising home games in the Indianapolis area, but it’s the right move for a number of reasons. Too often over the past decade and a half, Colts fans have been accused of being fair weather fans that won’t support their team through rough patches. To be fair, many NFL fans are fair weather fans, and only a few franchises can consistently sell out their entire stadium even during difficult years.
By blacking out or threatening to black out games, the Colts are sending a strong message to fans. The Colts’ front office is well aware of the fact that the Colts probably won’t be very competitive this season, but they’re taking a stand on this issue. If you’re really a fan of the Colts in the Indianapolis area, one of your priorities should be to get out to at least one Colts game this season. This is a fan base that’s been accused of being exceedingly fickle.
The Colts aren’t striking a blow against their own fans here; they’re giving Colts fans the opportunity to prove everyone else wrong. Only time will tell whether fans continue to boil over the decision or get to Lucas Oil Stadium in force to support their team.