Lockout Threatens Preseason Games – Thankfully.

July 21, 2011 | Dwayne Showalter

The NFL lockout has reached the point where the owners will soon have to return money they have had sitting in their banks back to the fans.  My understanding is that if it drags on a couple more days, the Hall of Fame Game in Canton will be the first casualty.

Shortly thereafter, preseason games in NFL cities will start taking hits.  PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!  LET IT BE SO!  Sadly, the Ravens don’t play at home until week two of the preseason.  But really, is there anyone out there that wouldn’t like to get a refund on the Chiefs game?  Or even the Redskins game six days later?

Many season ticket holders aren’t going to the preseason games anyway.  I know I’d rather have $80 back in my pocket than feel obliged to go downtown after work on a Thursday or Friday night in August.  It’s hot.  It’s humid.  And it’s not real NFL football.

I still can’t believe they get away with charging full price for the preseason.  Could you imagine paying full price for an Orioles spring training game??  Or regular season game for that matter?  At least attending spring training gets you some time in Florida.  What does preseason football offer?  Stars barely play, some of the guys playing have zero shot at making the squad and teams don’t even play to win.  They pass on field goal attempts at the end of games to avoid overtime.

It would be a shame to go this far in the lockout and not have fans get a refund for that garbage.  I’ve said for years, they should cut one preseason game and move a second to a neutral site.  That would give all ticket holders in the NFL a break for one home game.  They could hold games like Pittsburgh/Philly in Hershey.  Or Baltimore/Washington in Richmond.  Dallas/Houston in San Antonio.  Remember in 1992 before the Ravens when the Saints and Dolphins played here in Baltimore?  I think it was successful for teams and the city.  And it was a blessing for Saints season ticket holders that year who pocketed their money.   Just a handful more days of the lockout and we all may be as lucky.

Remember all the talk about adding 2 regular season games and cutting the preseason to two when the lockout started.  It’s funny how that talk has gone away.  It never really was about the fans hating the preseason and looking for more value out of their money.  It was always about players and owners making more of it.