It doesn’t take much to move Raider Nation. Give us a group of players and coaches willing to lay it on the line every week wearing Silver and Black and we’re all in. Two straight years of .500 ball was good enough to get the O.co Coliseum packed every time the Raiders took the field last season. That was the first time the Raiders have sold out every home date since their return to the Bay. That’s saying something considering how dominant the team was during the Gruden years.
Recently I openly wondered whether or not the Raiders would be able to continue that streak into the Reggie McKenzie era. If CSN Bay Area’s report is accurate then there is no doubt we’ll see another string of sellouts in 2012…technically.
The NFL is finally letting up on its strict rules concerning local blackouts. This season teams were given the option of setting their own threshold for sellouts. Paul Gutierrez reports that the Raiders have locked in their threshold at 85% meaning the team can avoid blackout so long as they hit their mark.
On the surface you’d imagine the team has no concerns of filling the Coliseum. So far fan support has been sky high given many of the new ways the team has reached out to its loyal fan base. However it does indicate that there is some uncertainty in the McKenzie camp.
85% is the absolute lowest threshold allowed by the league. As we know the Raiders are in transition. While the team has looked very good in training camp there is some apprehension as to how they’ll perform in the regular season. It’s only natural for the front office to want to ensure their local fans are able to see the game as there is a chance interest could dip depending on how things unfold.
Make no mistake though, the general feeling around Raider Nation and the team alike is that good things are in store. Even if all the Raiders are doing is hedging their bets then it’s yet another strong indication of how much more fan friendly this Raider regime is.