Say what you will of the short-lived Hue Jackson era but dude did help the Raiders to accomplish something they haven’t done since returning to the Bay. When Al Davis hired Jackson he promised that the first time head coach would light a fire under Raider Nation. Eight home sellouts later and Jackson kept Davis true to his word.
With the Silver and Black back in the playoff hunt it was a packed house every Sunday regardless of the opponent.
One year later with a new era of Raider football blooming before our eyes the question has got to be asked: Will the Raiders keep the sellout streak alive?
This season the NFL is finally letting up on their strict blackout rules. Teams have until August 9th to designate a fixed percentage of non-premium seats that must be sold in order to avoid a local TV blackout. That percentage can range between 85-100% of non-premium seats and according to PFT the Raiders are among the teams that have yet to declare their target number for home sellouts.
There is no doubt Raider Nation is fired up for the upcoming season. You can go ahead and use ink to write in sellouts for the home opener on Monday Night and the Sunday when the Steelers come to town.
Now trying to predict what the team will look like is another story in itself. We’re not sure if this is a rebuilding year exactly. In fact, Reggie McKenzie himself doesn’t know that. Pretty much every player on the roster other than Darren McFadden and Tyvon Branch are playing on a one-year audition for McKenzie.
While Raider fans will always support their team it’s a much different ball game when it comes to the economics of the East Bay. Oakland is a great city. People like me much prefer it to that other town across the Bay. However the reality is we’re not talking about a huge market. So when times are tough and you’re pitted with saving some cash or paying to see a lazy QB whose name we shall not speak (here’s a hint, he’s the reason Terrelle Pryor couldn’t wear his collegiate number) then it becomes a no brainer. You’ll gladly go to the sports bar of your choice.
Of course this season there is slacker QB eating up cap space like he does Twinkies. There is tangible hope of a potential playoff push. So there is every reason to believe the Raiders will sellout every home game again.