Interesting Idea: Why Not Cancel Local Blackouts Rules In Indianapolis?

INDIANAPOLIS IN - JANUARY 08: Fans wait to enter the stadium to watch the Indianapolis Colts play against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Something interesting came as a result of yesterday's vote on the Vikings Stadium issue in the Minnesota Senate:

As the Vikings stadium bill continue to be debated on the floor of the Minnesota Senate, a stream of amendments is being proposed.

And some surprising ones are being adopted.

The latest to pass would prevent any and all local TV blackouts of Vikings games played in the new stadium, according to Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV.

Huh.

That's rather intriguing.

In fact, it's so intriguing that it might be worth exploring locally in Indianapolis.

Think about it: The maintenance of Lucas Oil Stadium costs roughly $10 million a year, and that money comes from your tax dollars. So, regardless of whether you ever buy a ticket, a jersey, or a beer at Lucas Oil, you ARE paying for it.

Heck, the annual maintenance budget for the retractable roof that never retracts is $270,000. Another $30,000 is allocated just for the big window.

So, if you are already paying for the stadium, how is it fair to have games locally blacked out if non-premium tickets haven't been sold at least 72 hours before kickoff?

Simple answer: It isn't. In fact, it's almost insulting.

As the Colts continue to struggle getting people interested in their Peyton Manning-less team, a good way to get back in the good graces of some fans would be to get rid of these silly, antiquated blackout rules. Sure, the NFL might have something to say about that, but last I checked the NFL didn't have trouble making money.

When it's all said and done, blackouts don't provide incentive for people to buy tickets. Building an interesting team with quality players that win does. The Colts are clearly rebuilding in that direction. Let's end these dumb rules that unnecessarily punish fans who are already fronting the bill.

Contact the Indiana General Assembly

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