Over the summer, people began to notice that the Lions were marketing season tickets like never before. They had a crappy commercial and advertisements on various local media sites, and the assumption was that ticket sales weren't doing too hot. Whether or not that's the case for season tickets is unknown, but it's not really relevant as there are 4,500 individual tickets available for Sunday's game against the Packers. Yes, despite it being the home opener, the Lions aren't even close to selling out the game.
If the Lions are unable to sell the remaining 4,500 tickets by 1 p.m. on Thursday (or the same time on Friday if they request an extension), then the home opener will be blacked out locally. That means that if you live in the Detroit area, you won't be able to watch the Lions play Green Bay on Sunday.
There were a few games last season that came very close to being blacked out and the Lions did actually request an extension one or two times. However, the games were eventually sold out and as of today the sellout streak is up to 49 games. So far there has never been a regular season game blacked out since Ford Field opened, but to say that accomplishment is in jeopardy is an understatement.
As much as I want to see the Lions play Green Bay on TV, part of me is rooting for the tickets to go unsold and for a blackout to occur. Some may ask why I would want to not watch my favorite team, but a blackout may be the one thing that sends a message to William Clay Ford that change is needed.
For years fans have shown up to games and have spent money on the Lions regardless of how mediocre they have been. Hopefully this is the first sign that things are changing in the minds of fans, which will hopefully lead to some change in the Lions' organization (I'm looking at you, Matt Millen). It's doubtful that one blackout would do a whole lot, but if it's happening for the home opener then you can bet a few other games will get blacked out as well.
Personally, I believe a company will come to the Lions' rescue and buy up the remaining tickets in a way similar to what happened to the Falcons for their game against Detroit. Comcast and local TV stations bought the unsold tickets from the Falcons and donated them to charity. That lifted the blackout and allowed fans in the Atlanta area to watch the game on TV. My guess is that something similar will happen with the Lions, although I doubt it would be announced how the remaining tickets were sold.