Darren Rovell | ESPN.com
The Green Bay Packers sent out surveys on Tuesday seeking to find out why some of their fans didn’t buy playoff tickets.
The surveys were sent to season-ticket holders and those on the team’s waiting list. For the fans who didn’t buy playoff tickets, the survey asked why they chose not to and where they watched the game instead. The surveys differed slightly based on level of financial commitment to the team.
Six days before the Packers’ wild-card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers — known for their rabid fan base and legendary waiting list of more than 100,000 fans — had 40,000 tickets to sell.
After receiving an extension from the NFL, the Packers finally sold out the Jan. 5 game just two days before kickoff. The game sold out and the local TV blackout was lifted thanks to Packers sponsors and three Fox TV stations buying blocks of tickets. The Packers lost the game 23-20.
In announcing the sellout on Jan. 3, Packers president Mark Murphy spoke of the team’s intent to follow up with a survey to determine why fans stayed away from Lambeau Field.
As for why fans didn’t go to the game, the survey gave choices of cost of tickets, playoff fatigue, quality of TV broadcast and the weather forecast. Kickoff temperature for the game was 5 degrees.
Initially, Packers season-ticket holders were given a chance to buy tickets for the game by Dec. 4. After disappointing sales, the team gave season-ticket holders a second chance to buy seats by Dec. 30 before putting them on sale to the public.
The Packers required season-ticket holders who wanted to buy playoff tickets to pay up front for them, with any money from games not played carrying over as a credit for next season’s tickets.
The only home playoff game the Packers didn’t sell out was the team’s first-round game against the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the strike-shortened 1982 season.
- ESPN.com’s sports business reporter since 2012; previously at ESPN from 2000-06
- Appears on SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and with ABC News
- Formerly worked as analyst at CNBC