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If fewer preseason games, what about camp?

Posted by Darren Urban on August 8, 2017 – 10:13 am

The conversation about having fewer than four preseason games for NFL teams (although the Hall of Fame game gave the Cardinals five this year) has been ongoing for a number of years. Commissioner Roger Goodell recently brought it up again. There are logistics to evaluate, whether it be three or two games. Obviously, fewer of them would hurt most the fringe guys trying to get themselves some decent tape so that if they were released by their current team someone else could see what they were worth.

But the other question is about training camp itself. Currently, teams are allowed to go to camp 15 days before their first preseason game. Would that still be the case if there were fewer games? Would they make it longer, with an extra long stretch of practice before the first game? (Vets would love that.) One way around things is to schedule more joint practices with other teams. That would provide some controlled scrimmage situations. The hope in the end is that there are less injuries, in a sport where injuries are inevitable.

But in an environment where coaches already lament less time to prepare their teams, how it plays out is something to watch.


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5 Responses to “If fewer preseason games, what about camp?”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve said all along I don’t think the coaches would want a reduction of pre-season games, less opportunity to prepare and evaluate players. They probably don’t want any more of them, either, but….I think any less than 4 is just not gonna be enough. Again, for the coaches.

  2. By Ben on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    I think from a fans point of view there are different considerations. I personally love watching pre-season games. I like watching the fight to make the team. I think vets should only get a couple of reps to avoid injury. So 4 games to me is perfect. Love it.

    HOWEVER –

    I was a season ticket holder for 8 years. and I will say getting charged the same amount for a pre-season game felt like highway robbery. It pissed me off. Especially since I live in LA and didn’t want to make the 6 hour drive to the pre-season games. I would have to just give away both of those games every year. Just throwing away money.

    The NFL should drastically lower the cost of a preseason game, should be at least half as much as a regular season game.

    Just my 2 cents for whatever that is worth.

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Ben —

    RE: Lowering cost

    In fact, many teams have started to do that. Preseason games are cheaper. But the premier games on the schedule are then more expensive. The overall season ticket stays the same price.

  4. By Scott H on Aug 8, 2017 | Reply

    Ben –

    I agree with your thoughts on the pre-season games. I don’t think fans should HAVE TO accept the pre-season games as part of a season ticket package. Why? Why can’t it be an option? Why can’t the NFL show some decency toward the fans / public by making pre-season games a very affordable night out for people / families who really can’t afford regular season ticket prices? I’m not saying make them free. I AM saying make them affordable.

    And stop jamming people buying season tickets by forcing them to accept games some of them really don’t want so they can get the ones they do.

    I think the NFL is afraid that stands will be half empty for pre-season games if they weren’t being forced on people with pre-season game packages. But ya know what, NFL? Maybe with your ridiculous ticket prices, you SHOULD be afraid. Solution? Simple – make pre-season games affordable so they draw people in.

    They aren’t real games. So, stop charging people like they were.

    I think the NFL IS doing a really cool thing with these open practices. Free parking, free admission…..THAT is the right idea. They need to apply a little more of that approach to pre-season games. Lord knows, they’re still making their money.

  5. By clssylssy on Aug 9, 2017 | Reply

    Some years back they offered mini packages, that were like four games and were affordable for people to take their families to some games, allowing more people to have the “fan experience”. This may have been before or around the time we got the new stadium and while you couldn’t choose which four games you wanted, usually there were at least two that were with division rivals or pretty good teams. Once the new stadium started selling out and there was a waiting list, concern to build the fan base sort of went out the door. prices went up and it became the best party in town and more of a status symbol than about the game.
    Evey season with every franchise there is debate about shortening the preseason but the reality is that it is more important than ever in the preparation for the regular season because of the restrictions imposed by the CBA and the very limited number of padded practices where real football can be played. Having open training camp has been kinda a compromise and is especially good in Arizona.
    I think the idea of the mini packages was really a great idea as a way to allow Professional football to be a family friendly activity. A lot of people who buy season tickets end up not being able to go to all the games because of other conflicts and give their extra tickets away because of short notice, etc. The concept of having flex packages would help grow the fan base. Most teams offer a sort of flex cost on ticket prices with the most in demand games costing more and the preseason and less popular games being priced lower. In that kind of scenario, the season ticket holders sort of get the short end of the deal but are usually the losg standing fans who love football so much they make it work irregardless or enjoy the bragging rights.

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