We're just days away from the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs, and the Colts, Bengals, and Packers are all facing local blackouts because they haven't been able to sell out their games as of yet.
According to a report from ESPN, 11,000 tickets remained for the 49ers-Packers game at Lambeau Field on Sunday, while the Colts had 5,700 tickets remaining for their game with the Chiefs on Saturday. The Bengals (no stranger to the whole blackout phenomenon) had just under 10,000 tickets left for sale on Tuesday afternoon for their tilt on Sunday with the Chargers.
While it's stunning to see teams struggling to sell playoff tickets, it's even more shocking to see the Packers having issues. The team has a waiting list for season tickets of over 100,000 people and has sold out a mind-blowing 319 games, a streak dating back to 1995. Imagine if all of those local fans that didn't buy tickets wouldn't be able to watch the game on TV – that would be an absolute disaster. But really, a blackout in Green Bay probably won't end up happening thanks to recent renewed confidence in the team after the return of Aaron Rodgers.
The Colts don't have as impressive of a streak as the Packers, selling out 137 of their last 138 home games, but remember – there was a 2-14 season mixed into that eight season streak. As for the Bengals? They're synonymous with the word "blackout", and despite losing just one game in 2012 and 2013, the team had nearly its entire home slate blacked out locally in 2011.
The last playoff game that was blacked out was in 2001, when the Dolphins welcomed the Ravens to Miami. The Dolphins' playoff win over the Colts in 2000 was also blacked out in Miami – not good times in Miami in the post-Marino years.