There is a new blackout rule in the NFL, but it remains to be seen what sort of impact it has in the upcoming season. It doesn't sound like it will have any impact in San Diego, a city that could struggle to sell tickets.
San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos indicated, via a Monday report from U-T San Diego, that the team wasn't likely to lower the threshold of a possible blackout. The league now allows teams to set the threshold for lifting blackouts at less than a sellout.
In theory, a team can decide that selling anywhere from 85 percent to 100 percent is enough for a sellout. But it has to decide on its threshold before the season starts.
"Even if you went to 15 percent lower, hypothetically an 85 percent manifest, that doesn't necessarily guarantee you a lift of the blackout for every game," Spanos said. "It's also important to understand that the manifest is set for the year for every game, whether it's a big game for us or a game with a less attractive opponent.
"It's not a flexible policy. It's not a flexible manifest."
We decided to write this post despite its lack of sex appeal because of the confusion over the new blackout policy. (Don't worry. We'll make up for the page views with a "Top Five Cruelest Jim Brown Quotes of the Summer" later.)
While it's a good sign for fans at home that the NFL has relaxed its blackout policy, we don't know if it will have a big impact this year. If other teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland Raiders adopt the same policy as the Chargers, the policy won't have a huge immediate impact.