Four years into his 6 year term, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is sticking up for Browns and Bengal fans. The Democratic junior Senator from Ohio wrote a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell urging the NFL to reconsider its television blackout policy.
Here's the policy: if an NFL game is not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, league rules mandate that the game be blacked out in the local market. Last season, the NFL blacked out 22 games, which represented a 144% increase over the previous year. This is a long standing policy and one Goodell has indicated will not be changed.
With 18 of 32 teams increasing ticket prices, Senator Brown asked the NFL to revisit its blackout policy, which he characterized as "deeply troubling" particularly in the "worst economic crisis in generations".
According to Team Marketing Research, the average cost in 2009 for a family of 4 to attend an NFL game was $412.64.
Because of its heavy reliance on manufacturing, Ohio's economy was hit particularly hard by the recession.
Senator Brown's letter is below. If it's too small to read, click here to view it.