By Jerrell Richardson
While it seems like it should be against some league rule, the Seahawks decision to restrict sales of tickets to this weekend’s NFC Championship Game to only those in select regions is perfectly legal. What the powers who be inside the Seattle organization have decided is that only those whose credit cards have a billing zip code located in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho Alaska or Hawaii (non-49er territory) are eligible to attend. The logical thought behind this move is that by doing this, the team will ensure that the crowd is squarely on the side of the home team, and that the 12th man, which has played a key role in the Seahawks dominance at home, shows up for the biggest game in the franchises recent memory. So while on the surface this decision makes sense, a closer look shows that this is nothing more than the Seahawks taking a shot at 49er fans.
What’s The Point?
Not only is the thought that limiting ticket sales is needed to keep the home crowd on your side ridiculous, it’s even more absurd to think that by rejecting certain billing zip codes you are going to keep out the die-hard 49er fans who want to see this game in person. This is the game that football fans have been waiting for all season, so getting tickets is going to be almost impossible, regardless of where you live. It took less than 30 minutes (26 to be exact) for Seattle to sell out of tickets for their game last week against the Saints, so those who aren’t waiting by the phone the second tickets go on sale aren’t getting them from the team directly anyway.
In this day and age, getting your hands on tickets may cost an arm and a leg, but actually acquiring those tickets (for an arm and a leg) will not be a problem for anyone willing to pay the right price, regardless of where he or she lives. In fact, a row 49er fans could be sitting on the 50-yard line if they shelled out enough money. Look closely enough Sunday and among the sea of blue will be several San Francisco fans, proudly sporting their red in spite of this ticketing blackballing attempt by Seattle.
Even with a combination of the fans that get their tickets elsewhere, along with the 49er fans lucky enough to live inside the target zip codes, it’s impossible to think that a dent would be put in Seattle’s precious 12th man. This is the same field that set a Gunnies World Record early this year during a regular season contest. While the stakes are clearly elevated for this game, does Seattle think that there were no Saints fans in the house when they set the record? While other teams have had trouble selling out games, Seattle has not, so who in their organization is worried that they can’t get enough fans to show up that would allow the home crowd to get in a frenzy?
All For Show
So while the Seahawks puff out their chests and say that they are preserving their 12th man with their ticket selling strategy, they aren’t. They will say that this is only to help their team win, and this sounds good, but nobody is buying it. This is a case where Seattle hates San Francisco and will do anything they can to make it as difficult as possible for 49er fans to show up to Century Link Field for the NFC Championship showdown. There is nothing wrong with this tactic though, and the Seahawks would gain a new level of respect from everyone if they just admitted it.
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Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. Jerrell is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.