The Indianapolis Colts have a new front office, new coaches and a new quarterback, but they'll be playing by the old NFL TV blackout rules.
Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward told WRTV sports director Dave Furst that the club stands to lose millions of dollars if they don't.
"It doesn't make any sense for our situation, especially with the tickets we've already sold," Ward said.
This year, the NFL is allowing teams to lift the local, TV blackout where only 85 percent of the game tickets are sold. But, Ward said teams that agree to that rule also must give up 50 percent of the money from every ticket sold to the NFL's "visiting team pool."
The pool is then split among every NFL team. Teams who have sold-out stadiums, or don't want to take advantage of the new policy, only contribute 34 percent to the pool.
"The club would be out several million dollars over the course of the season, if we agree to the new rule," Ward added.
Currently, the Colts have sold 96 percent of their season tickets leaving roughly 2,000 tickets to be sold. What season tickets aren't sold by the start of the season, Ward believes, will sell-out after they become single-game tickets.
"(Tickets are) selling every day. I don't think we'll be sold-out of season tickets, but I'm confident we'll be sold-out of single-game tickets," Ward said.
There are a few NFL teams that are expected to take advantage of the new rule to allow local, live, TV coverage of their games at the risk of paying extra to the leagues pool. Clubs must notify the NFL of their intentions by Sunday.
The Colts will open training camp July 29 at Anderson University. Their first preseason game is August 12 against the St. Louis Rams.
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