Tim Tebow has had the magic touch in leading the Denver Broncos to fourth-quarter comeback victories this season and becoming one of the National Football League’s most talked-about players.
Even he couldn’t help the Buffalo Bills sell out their Christmas Eve home game. Not even close.
There are 24,000 unsold tickets for the Bills’ Dec. 24 game against Tebow and the Broncos at 73,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, where the temperature is forecast to reach a high of 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The Bills are averaging 65,625 fans for each home game this year, 18th out of 32 teams.
Because the game isn’t a sellout, it will be blacked out on local television, the Bills said. It’s the third straight blackout for the Bills, who have spiraled out of playoff contention with seven consecutive losses since starting the season 5-2.
The Broncos have gone the other direction, winning seven of nine games since Tebow took over as the starting quarterback. At 8-6, Denver has overcome a 1-4 start and sits atop the American Football Conference’s West division as it seeks a playoff berth.
Buffalo isn’t the only NFL market with a local TV blackout on Christmas Eve. The Cincinnati Bengals, who rank last in the league in attendance at 48,216, failed to sell out this week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals even though they have an 8-6 record and are challenging for an AFC wild-card playoff berth, which goes to one of the two teams with the best record among non-division champions in each conference.