Thursday, July 12, 2012

NFL expands local broadcasting

   (Mr. HIGGINS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
   Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, in my home town of Buffalo, New York, nearly half the Bills games were blacked out last season because, despite an average game attendance of 67,000, the games were not sellouts because Ralph Wilson Stadium is one of the largest in the league.
   Last week, we learned that NFL owners passed a resolution allowing teams to decide to broadcast games locally when more than 85 percent of seats are filled. This is a change to current policy, which requires a stadium to be sold out.

   If teams embrace this new policy, it will be a game changer for football fans in Buffalo and across the Nation. This change would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of loyal sports fans, including Sports Fans Coalition, the Buffalo Fan Alliance, and the Bills Mafia.
   I urge the NFL owners to opt into this policy and the Federal Communications Commission to consider a similar policy change. Fans support their local stadiums with their tax dollars. It's time for teams to give back something in return for that commitment that they have made. 


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