Seattle Seahawks: Does Playoff Ticket Policy Lack Class?

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Jan 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks fans cheer against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks will host the NFC Championship game next Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Apparently, opposing fans are not invited. Are they ever?

A loyal fan of the San Francisco 49ers sent me a link to this story. The title of the story suggests that the Seahawks will not be selling tickets to people who have billing addresses in California or North Carolina, which would seemingly discriminate against fans of the Niners and the Carolina Panthers.

When you dig a little deeper into the article you find that the team is not excluding California and North Carolina specifically. Instead, the team is just limiting sales to the Pacific Northwest region. Now, this is a fun story and it adds fuel to the rivalry fire, particularly between the ‘Hawks and the 49ers. Unfortunately, this may be as much about the post office and availability as it is about strategic maneuvers.

I will agree that it does not appear to be classiest of moves. However, I would be curious whether this is a new policy. Based on the number of season ticket holders that the Seahawks have, it is likely that there will be very few tickets available to the general public. After all, season ticket holders get first crack at playoff tickets and I am guessing that just about all of them will go to the Clink.

Also, this policy won’t prevent fans of the Niners or the Panthers from seeing the game. Opposing fans can still get tickets on broker sites such as StubHub, which won’t have similar restrictions and might be an easier outlet to get tickets anyway. The Seahawks would know this, so if fans think the restriction is designed to thwart opposing fans, I question whether the team would be that calculating.

Besides, do you really think the city of Seattle is devoid of Niner and Panther fans? I’m guessing that in addition to Russell Wilson, there are a few Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton jerseys rolling around the Emerald City.

Now, if the team really wanted to dissuade opposing fans, the stadium would ban opposing jerseys or make all entrants swear an oath to the Seahawks as they came in the gates. Say, that isn’t a bad idea.

Enjoy the game, regardless of where your loyalties (and mailing addresses) reside.

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Topics: Nfl Playoffs, Seahawks Playoff Tickets, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl Xlviii

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  • Brock Sondrup

    Todd, You should probably note that all NFL teams limit their ticket sales to surrounding states for Championship Games. The Broncos are doing it as well. Here straight from their website. http://www.denverbroncos.com/news-and-blogs/article-1/AFC-Championship-Tickets-On-Sale-Monday/44aff40a-d2f7-48c4-a0b5-3adba973e6dd

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you for the information, Brock. It doesn’t surprise me that this is a common practice. That is why I suggested in the article that this may be more about shipping logistics than strategic advantage.

  • Christi Cleveland

    Todd, do your homework ass, Hawks not the only team that does this, Guess you had better things to do than due diligence, perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work.

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thank you for the feedback, Christi Cleveland. I will certainly take your career advice into consideration.

      • Christi Cleveland

        That would be great, thanks. (if only)

        • Todd Pheifer

          You do understand that this was meant as a brief critique of the SB Nation article, and was therefore less about evaluating the league-wide policies of various ticket offices. I did not state or imply that the Seahawks are the only team that does this.