Raiders’ home TV market could get shut out


Preseason stats aren’t worth a whole lot, unless you think Michael Bennett (54 carries, 236 yards) is going to lead the Raiders in rushing or Bruce Gradkowski will finish with an NFL record 125.9 quarterback rating.

One figure was an eye opener.

The attendance for the Seattle game in Week 4 was listed as 23,957. It wasn’t in the stat books distributed following the game, but showed up in the final preseason stats.

There weren’t that many people in the park, but that’s hardly the point. The Raiders announce “tickets issued,” which means tickets that were actually bought and paid for. They don’t count butts in the seats.

So the 23,957 is roughly the Raiders’ season ticket base.


Preseason games are included in a season ticket package. You want the eight regular season games, then you pony up for the preseason games as well. At full price. It’s a great scam, but we’ll drop that topic for the time being.

Since few people in their right mind would buy a full-price ticket to a preseason game on its own merit, the attendance total for August games closely mirrors that of the season-ticket base.

I double-checked the attendance figure for the Seahawks game and was told it was correct. There were no typos or inverted numbers.

And it’s worth noting the Raiders have partial-season ticket plans available which don’t include the preseason, but I’m told that the sale of those will have a hard time preventing potential blackouts.

After seven consecutive seasons of 11 or more losses, an on-going NFL record, you can’t fault fans for taking a “show me” approach to purchasing tickets.

But the figure is alarming after what was widely considered the most positive offseason in the last decade. There was a change in quarterbacks, a draft which received mostly rave reviews and little or no drama of the kind that seems to follow the Raiders around in terms of bad publicity.

With a season opener on Sept. 19 against the thoroughly unappealing Rams and not in prime time, you can probably count on Week 1 failing to sell out in advance of the 72-hour deadline for local television.

The last three home openers have been televised, but all have been on Monday night against AFC West opponents. Last year’s opener against San Diego was televised and followed by seven consecutive blackouts. The last time the Raiders opened on Sunday at home against an NFC team, they were blacked out in Lane Kiffin’s debut against the Detroit Lions.

Oakland has been televised only 44 times in 120 regular-season home games since returning to Oakland in 1995, and there’s a chance they’ll be 44-for-128 when the season ends.

Even if the Raiders offseason success translates in the won-loss column the low season ticket base will make it difficult to make up the difference. It would be hard to envision more excitement in the Coliseum than the regular-season finale of 2000, with the Raiders playing for home field advantage in the playoffs under Jon Gruden. They beat the Carolina Panthers 52-9 on Christmas Eve and were blacked out locally.

Earlier that season, the Raiders returned home with a 10-2 record to face the Atlanta Falcons, won 41-14, and were blacked out locally.

The economy was much better in 2000 than it is in 2010.

A couple of points should be made:

— The Raiders case may be extreme, but they’re hardly alone, as reported by USA Today.

Even teams that made the playoffs such as Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego are bracing for blackouts.

— Tickets and parking are expensive, and with the advent of HD television and DirecTV, watching games at home has never been a better option. If you’re talking sinking your money into nose bleed seats or getting a front row seat in your own living room, then tailgating with friends in the comfort of your own home is appealing.

— Without getting too deep into the socioeconomic aspect, walk through the parking lot at any Raiders game and you’ll find what is probably the most diverse fan base in the NFL. You see it in the faces of the fans as well as the delicious foods on the barbecues. It’s probably the best smelling parking lot in the NFL. Unemployment and a bad economy hits fans of color the hardest.

Privately, the Raiders realize that even with a return to .500 and beyond, they’ll probably do no better than one or two games on television, and the real possibility exists for a shutout.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • My point Ghost, is that money has been paid to top college players since Adam & Eve.

  • priesttj


    Kids taking money from boosters is an everyday occurance, that stuff is so widespread it’s ridiculous. Someone blew a whistle on USC to bring them back to earth. It’s called competition for So. California athletes and UCLA was getting waxed so not too hard to figure out who snitched.

  • priesttj

    Great post KK!!

  • priesttj

    Weel at some point Veldie was going to have meet the Bear. So let’s see what he’s got it’s too late to get sheepish now.

  • Ghost to the Post

    Let’s be honest. In high school the football players and baskeball players are coddled and helped along. I’m sure it gets much worse in college.

  • # KoolKell Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    LMN it was warm/hot……didn’t get dark until about 11pm……Stayed at the Marriot down on the water near Tivoli……good food…..the babes……..OMG.

    Im glad you had a great time here…

  • srgood1

    We season ticket holders get scammed with pre-season every year. (Which, by the way, I’m ALL for the 18-game season if it means getting rid of two weeks of practice games.)

    But what may to the straw for me was paying $33 for the “honor” of parking there. In this depression, I really have a hard time justifying the expense for a faulty product.

  • # Richochet Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Why would it even matter to you?
    Mom isn’t going to spring for ticket money, so Oakland, Siberia, or across the street, you can only wonder what it’s like to attend.


    Oh, anybody who doesn’t lie about owning their own business must live with their mom?

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    any sign of Mr BrownEye today?

  • # Dakota Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 1:25 pm


    Why are you fixating on showbiz? Must be the screenwriter in you or something…

    Athletes want to be in LA because of the vast market and the social life…not because of the movie deals. Plus they don’t have to deal with a harsh media like in NY. Really, if you were a young rich professional athlete you wouldn’t want to be in LA? You’d rather be in Oakland?


    When are you going to quit?

    With every single comment on this topic, you reveal yourself to be even further out of the loop as to how things are out here.

    Just what open market are you referring to if you’re not talking about showbiz? What else is LA known for? Did Lamar Odom and Rick Fox come to LA to surf? Did they come here for the snowboarding?

    If any player wanted to go anywhere for the social life they’d pick Miami or NY over Los Angeles in A HEARTBEAT. The media’s easier on athletes in Los Angeles? Are you nuts? Run that by Manny Ramirez, or even your hero Kobe for that matter. Ever heard of TMZ? Where did you think they’re based, St. Louis?

    And Dakota, I’m telling you again, you wouldn’t understand why an athlete would rather be in the bay than be in Los Angeles, especially athletes who happen to not be white, middle American bible thumpers. Bay area is just more tolerant of all cultures. They let you breathe in the bay, and a lot of athletes would certainly rather play for Golden State than the Clippers for that reason. Obviously that’s not the case with the Lakers because with the Lakers they’d have a better chance at a ring. That’s common sense. But it’s for the championship, not because they want to be in LA.

    you’re the one who might as well sign up for film school, because you’re the one who still thinks LA is like the Randy Newman song.

  • I don’t have a bia one war or another towards LA or Oakland. I would still support the Raiders even if they were in Tijuana.

    With that being said though, Oakland just isn’t cutting it. The stadium is a hole, the city is a hole, and LA is certainly more attractive. Matter of time before they move back…… Just my thoughts.

  • They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells

  • On the Monday Night in 1987 that Bo Jackson ran for 221 yards in a 37-14 rout of Seattle, the Raiders set a club record by amassing 356 yards on the ground in the game.

    source: desk calendar.

  • On December 24, 1977: The Raiders beat the Colts 37-31 in the “Ghost To The Post” divisional playoff. Tight End Dave Casper (“The Ghost”) caught a long pass to set up the tying field goal late in regulation, then had a 10-yard touchdown gram in overtime.

    source: desk calendar.

  • cbs sports.com just released power rankings….Raiders are#17!!

  • Vic Carrucci of Nfl network has us beating the Titans week one! Finally some respect!

  • LA County has already said they will not deal with the Raiders, don’t want them, why? Al Davis.

  • fat kidd

    NFL STADIUM RANKINGS 23. Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
    FANFARE Score: 25

    What we liked: The Atmosphere—When I walked out of the corridor into the stadium proper, it was half-full and shining in the bright California sun. It was a sight, and a feeling I will never forget. The whole atmosphere, from the warmups to the end of the game, was fantastic. This stadium has so much history, you can almost feel it.Al Davis has done a fantastic job here.

    What we didn’t like: The Neighborhood—The only downside was the food was quite limited, the drinks were very over priced ($8 for a beer), and there were no real bars or facilities outside the stadium.

  • inonewordraider

    The weather the women (gorgeous in NOCAL don’t get me wrong, but you can at least agree more groupies in LA) and the nightlife are better in LA than the bay. Do you think out of state recruits don’t factor in the southern california lifestyle when choosing between USC and other top schools? However, I think it’s great to have the Raiders play where they originated regardless of attendance and when the Raiders start winning the fans will come. The better business move however would be to play in an LA market starving for a football team. Ultimately, whoever gives Al the best deal will host the Raiders

  • priesttj

    KK let the Raiders start winning I gaurantee that highbrow stuff changes. If the Raiders were to go to the SB LA would come begging.

    Even now NFL Franchises are at a premium except in Oakland, Cincinati gt a brnd spanking new stadium. So did Tampa. For sme reason the Bay area sucks for sports teams it’s not just Al Davis the 49ers (jewel of a Franchise) can’t get a stadium in SF. Go figure!!

  • bcz24

    “The addition of Jason Campbell is bigger for this team than JaMarcus Russell’s stomach was for his uniform…”

    LMAO!!!! This guy wins journalist of the year for that line!

  • inonewordraider

    DMAC vs CJohnson, think DMAC doesn’t want to prove he was the better draft choice?

  • unclefresh

    The reason those games in 2000 were blacked out was solely based on the requirement of PSLs to buy season tickets. PSLs were a huge mistake and the attendance and fan base has never recovered.

  • Inonewordraider Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Ultimately, whoever gives Al the best deal will host the Raiders
    Nobody is offering Al Davis anything.

  • If she wants to dance and drink all night well there’s no one that can stop her.
    She’s going til the house lights come up or her stomach spills onto the floor.

  • Priesttj Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    KK let the Raiders start winning I gaurantee that highbrow stuff changes. If the Raiders were to go to the SB LA would come begging.

    No municipality is going to tie up Taxpayer money with that loon, Al Davis. sorry.

    Under modern management, an entirely different story.

  • Norco Bob

    Aw…is the fat old man still crying?….what is it today old kell?…what has ya snivlin today?…dont worry loser, catch the games on the radio…all good….however, hes still a billionaire with a private jet,..youre old, ugly, fat, unemployed, broke…hmm, no I cant see at all why youre insanely jealous of him…sucks to be you,..(obvious from the pic you posted of yourself here)

  • bcz24

    # inonewordraider Says:
    September 7th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    DMAC vs CJohnson, think DMAC doesn’t want to prove he was the better draft choice?
    DMAC has no chance at even making anyone think he was better draft choice… he will NEVER be a 2000 yd back. I am rooting for him to have a long and illustrious career with us but 2000yds aint ever happening!

  • If LA were “dying for football” they’d have it. It’s the 2nd largest market in the country.

  • We want football (nfl) here in L.A.!

  • 8RaiderReign8


  • djohnnyg

    “Time to dump Oakland once again and get back to LA. They may still not sell out games, but at least in LA you can attract decent free agents by using the glamour of the city…what is the selling point of Oakland? That players can live in San Francisco?”
    Well said. That kind of attendance is ridiculous and as the article stated this IS NOT just because the Raiders have been so bad lately. They couldn’t even seel out during the Gruden years. Let’s face it: Oakland cannot support an NFL franchise PERIOD! There are alot of cities that would welome the Raiders with open arms and love the Silver and Black. Makes sense to go BACK to LA.

    Why the hell should Al Davis keep ’em in Oakland? Oakland obviously doesn’t even want ’em here or even care. Sure, there’s a few fans in the “black hole” but that doesn’t cut it. This is a business and the fans in Oakland don’t even care so why stay here?

  • djohnnyg

    I say the above and yet I actually love the Coliseum. When u think of it, it is really a legendary stadium with many GREAT moments; ‘Sea of Hands’, all the AFC Championships held there, and you can’t hear that NFL Films music from the days of John Facenda and not picture and feel the crisp feeling in the air at dusk as the sun sets at the Coliseum after the Raiders pulled out another victory led by Stabler and the boys. Sooooo many great football memories have been created at that stadium. Many NOT so good I’d rather forget, but all that being said, Oakland cannot support this team; or WILL NOT.

    At least the LA Raiders were not a complete embarrassment, setting NFL records for losing. I love the Raiders, but I am soooo sick and tired of being the NFL’s laughingstock. I just wanna see something change; for the better and if it means moving to LA then so be it. The people of Oakland might care…a little bit, but it’s not enough.

  • bigRoN18

    The TV blackout rule is, and always has been, counter-productive. It was an ill-conceived method of convincing fans to buy tickets instead of watching the game on TV. This ill-conceived plan is also as ill-conceived plan as the NFL Network’s inception. The NFL has an excellent product to sell, but they need to make people WANT to spend the money, not make them spend the money and then be disappointed. When a team is viewed on TV, it builds a fan base. While watching a game on TV is fun, it isn’t as much fun as actually going to a game. People build-up to the point where they want to pay to go to a game. When the local team always has blackouts, fans will disappear. Add to this some losing seasons and you have a recipe for disaster. If the blackout rule were done away with, people would be able to watch and follow the Raiders all season long, not just their away games. This will build a new fan base and eventually end up with people wishing to go to games. With a larger fan base, it will be harder and harder to find available tickets to the point the stadium will be sold out by season ticket holders alone.

  • djohnnyg

    As to # 434- EXACTLY! 100 % SPOT ON!

    Case in point-The Chicago Blackhawks. For decades you could NEVER see a Blackhawk home game on TV…even if it were sold out and the fan base dwindled. Arthur Wirtz (previous owner) died, his son took over and decided to broadcast the home games and voila…a franchise is revived. Yes, it did help that the Hawks started winning, but you alienate a fan base when they can’t see their team, or if you make it difficult to do so. The blackout rule IS counter productive.

  • scootertramp

    I’ll be at the Rams ganme so I won’t have to worry about the blackout! Only thing that pisses me off is ticketmaster wouldn’t let me hget my usual tickets in section 209! kept sending me to Mt. Davis, so I just went cheap. Screw em!

  • scootertramp

    #287 – Foothill Blvd! Party there couple times a year. Never have any problems…

  • r8r1973

    obviously with a name like r8r1973 you can figure that I was born in 73.. . so I am only guessing that in the 70’s it was more likely that people were paid salaries than now. The reason I am saying this is because with a blackout deadline of Thursday at 1pm. . . and an economy that creates a wait and see if I have the money for a ticket when I get my check scenario. .. .who the heck can make it to the ticket line or internet by 1pm if they are getting paid on Thursday or Friday? Not sure about most jobs, but when I am at work I have to stay there until my job, or my shift is over. I can’t tell my boss I have to go home so I can buy a Raider ticket. Just an observation as to why blackouts may be occurring. Maybe this can be something looked into by the NFL

  • r8r1973

    just wanted to clarify that the reason I mentioned people getting weekly salaries vs. monthly as being a problem is because if one were to be paid by the month it would be easier to make it to the ticket lines being that the month’s $$$ would already be in the bank, whereas if paid by the week, it would be a wait and see kind of thing

  • Musaeus

    I’m going to at least one game this year because you can’t emulate the game-day experience. Nothing better than a simple “throw it to that guy, he’s wide open!” and then watching it happen. Watching football on tv is alright, but you’re missing so much of the sport. What are the safeties doing? What routes worked for that score? You have to hope the tv station will replay a clip with what you missed because the camera was on the qb. Plus, I hate commercials. I’d get season tickets if I weren’t a starving student teacher.