"We are a volume-based franchise,” said Bills CEO Russ Brandon in a statement on BuffaloBills.com. “For us to be successful we have to keep our ticket prices low and sell a great number of tickets. "
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Under the new league rules, teams now have the option to sell 85 percent in order to avoid a blackout, as opposed to needing a full-blown sellout in order to avoid the blackout.
"It's optional if clubs want to do this and would only affect a few teams," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told NFL.com in an email. "Last year only 6 percent of games were blacked out in a local market. This figure is down significantly from 15 to 20 years ago when 25 to 30 percent of games were routinely blacked out."
As a part of the decision to lift the blackout rule at 85 percent capacity, teams would be required to then hand over more revenue -- 50 percent of money from every ticket sold over the 85 percent threshold -- to the visiting team . That revenue sharing is usually only 34 percent on other games.
That new cost, for the Bills, was apparently too high however, with team officials saying that it would be a "significant revenue loss" and that of the last six games that were blacked out in Buffalo, only one reached the 85 percent threshold.