My solution to the preseason problem...

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My solution to the preseason problem...

Post  Bill Schaefer on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:03 pm

While doing quite a bit of digging over the last year or so on photos that keep turning up from preseason games showing teams in unis from the previous season so as not to spoil the 'surprise' news duds make when Week 1 rolls around, I got to thinking.

Back in the 50s-70s, the League used to have teams play preseason games in small non-NFL towns. If the League can, in 2012, make Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, TV-ready every July/August, why can't it work it's magic elsewhere?

Putting all of the teams on the road for the 4 preseason games would ease the ridiculous burden of STHs (season ticket holder) being forced to buy these games that mean nothing to the STHs themselves or to League standings. My Dad, a STH for the Steelers since 1978, does everything in his power to get rid of these tickets each year. Taking the teams out of their home stadium for the preseason would rid the STHs of the need to by them in the first place and ease the yearly cost for tickets.

Smaller, non-NFL towns could bid to have their local stadium host an NFL game with the requirements being that they are within a reasonable distance of a particular NFL team's Training Camp location or natural home. Once a city wins a bid, they are excluded from hosting the team again for a 3-5 year period in order to give other locations a chance. The city must possess a stadium of ample size. (Don't even most teams that are what used to be DIV II, DIV III, or even NAIA have stadiums of at least 25,000-plus?) Think of Happy Valley hosting the Steelers or Eagles; Orlando hosting any of Miami, TB, or Jacksonville; Eugene, Oregon, hosting Seattle, San Fran or the Raiders; Blacksburg, VA, hosting the Redskins; or Columbus hosting Cincinnati or Cleveland (They could probably get Cleveland on the cheap!). The matchups for the games wouldn't even need to be geographic matches for both teams. I'm sure if Lubbock, Texas, (Texas Tech) hosted the Cowboys, they wouldn't care who the opponent was since they were getting a Cowboys game. Sure they'd like it to be against Houston or Arizona but, 'hey, you takes what yous can get.'

Sure, I think ticket prices should be reduced to fit the importance and venue of these games. But I think the NFL should consider this as a public relations coup to help dig themselves out from under Bounty-Gate and the labor stoppages. If they really wanted to dazzle us, they could make these games go towards a local charity so that a portion of the money goes right back into the community hosting the game. People will actually go to these games because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to out of the requirement to buy the tickets as part of their STH package. They could have photo sessions in the town with both teams so kids who would normally never have a chance to have their photo taken with an NFL player (and not just the marginal rookies who likely won't make the team) could do so.

I'm sure the NFL could also mandate something that says "If Peyton Manning is being held out of the Preseason game in Bloomington, IN, then he needs to be present for the photo ops in Bloomington the day before the game." Better yet, if the player doesn't play a minimum percentage of the team's plays in the game, that player must partake in the photo ops with locals the next day in that town or face severe fines. Game on Saturday (usually in Preseason), photo op at the local mall or stadium the next day.

The League could try to run this program for a trial 5-7 year period, see how it goes, see how receptive cities, teams, and players are to it, and then decide to extend or eliminate it. Between easing the financial burden on STHs and putting the game out there for those who wouldn't normally get to attend games or meet their heroes, the public relations 'good' for the League far outweighs the financial shortfall taking the games out of NFL stadiums would cause. Let's make this happen, Roger!
Bill Schaefer

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Re: My solution to the preseason problem...

Post  oma221 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:02 pm

I like it! You listening, NFL?


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