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falcons sold tickets to home depot.


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falcons get help to avoid blackout

by tim tucker

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/16/07

the falcons averted a television blackout of sunday's game at the georgia dome against tampa bay when some of the team's business partners agreed thursday to buy the remaining tickets.

that satisfied nfl rules which require a game to sell out 72 hours in advance to be televised within 75 miles of the home team's stadium.

tickets remained available for the 1 p.m. sunday game on ticketmaster.com thursday night, well after the 72-hour deadline had passed, and the falcons would have faced their second consecutive tv blackout if not for their business partners' intervention.

the falcons said flagstar bank, the team's "official bank," and waga-tv, the local fox affiliate that will televise the game, were among the businesses ensuring the sellout.

the falcons will not disclose the number of tickets the businesses committed to buy, spokesman reggie roberts said. the exact number will depend on how many additional seats are sold to the public by game time.

flagstar said it will give away a pair of tickets to the first 50 fans at a falcons pep rally from noon-2 p.m. today at the bank's marietta branch at 2667 dallas highway.

two weeks ago, the falcons' home game against san francisco was blacked out on atlanta tv, the team's first blackout since arthur blank bought the franchise in 2002.

that blackout and the need for corporate help to prevent a recurrence this week despite a two-game winning streak and an nfc south rival as the opponent underscored the falcons' fall from favor with fans since quarterback michael vick's guilty plea to federal charges related to dogfighting.

the blackout threat had not escaped the notice of falcons players this week.

safety lawyer milloy called the nov. 4 blackout "embarrassing" and implored fans "to come back to the georgia dome." kicker morten andersen said the falcons "have to have a home-field advantage. that means getting the crowd in the seats and getting them to be loud."

said center todd mcclure: "i hate to see [blackouts] because you've got fans that don't get the opportunity to come to games, and they count on sitting on the couch and watching that game on sunday. it also helps us to have people in the dome."

only seven games have been blacked out this season, nfl spokesman dan masonson said two in jacksonville, two in st. louis, two in oakland and one in atlanta.

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only seven games have been blacked out this season, nfl spokesman dan masonson said two in jacksonville, two in st. louis, two in oakland and one in atlanta.

jacksonville is not an nfl town, so this is not a surprise. st louis was winless up until last week. oakland.....well, they are oakland. atlanta?.....fair weather fan capital of the world.

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