The NFL is giving itself the option to continue moving games around, and the latest decision could cause headaches for the league’s most devoted fans.
Owners voted Monday in favor of having the option to flex Thursday night games. Although it only can be done in Weeks 13-17, there is now the option for the Thursday Amazon game to be changed.
The argument in favor of the decision make is that it gets rid of some of the terrible football we witnessed on Thursdays this season. That might delight viewers, however, there are some logistical matters at play for those attending the game. If a fan buys a ticket for a Sunday afternoon game, it is creating a potential nightmare for them if the game gets moved to Thursday night.
If a game is flexed, the involved teams must get 28 days notice. For some fans, that won’t be enough time to make the necessary changes if they are traveling to the game from out of town. Local fans might also not love having to adjust their schedule for a Thursday game when they had been planning, likely for months, on a Sunday.
“It’s a middle finger to the in-stadium fan,” ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio bluntly put it Tuesday in his weekly appearance on the Mully & Haugh Show. “And at a time when you see every team that needs a new stadium or a renovation to its existing one put its hand out for public money, I think this is a moment where the politicians should push back and say if you’re not going to have proper regard for the people who come to these stadiums, why are we doing what you want us to do when it comes to paying for these stadiums? …
“There really is a problem as it relates to fans who travel to games, or just local fans who rearrange their schedules, rearrange their lives so they can go to a night game on a Thursday. And then all of a sudden it's uprooted to a Sunday or (vice versa). …
It’s ultimately not a guarantee that games will get flexed. But the door is open, and any fan who buys a ticket now to a late-season Thursday game has to be aware of that.
“Everyone who buys a ticket to one of these games now from Week 13 to 17 has to worry about the possibility that it’s going to happen," Florio said. "Remote as it is, it’s now on your radar screen of stuff to worry about.”
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