Pack, Colts avoid playoff blackouts


The  Green Bay Packers and  Indianapolis Colts have sold their remaining tickets to their Saturday's playoff games, while the Cincinnati Bengals still have Friday to meet the ticket-sale deadline extension from the NFL.

Fans and a group of Packers corporate partners, led by Green Bay-based Associated Bank, purchased the remaining available tickets Friday. The Packers began the week with 40,000 tickets available.

"That's the way it's supposed to be," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "This is Lambeau Field. Our fans are phenomenal. ... I think it will be a great environment. Our fans always show up. This is the showcase of the NFL, Lambeau Field. That's what you expect, and I'm glad they came through."

The NFL gave the Packers a second extension after they came up short of selling out 80,750-seat Lambeau Field for Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the  San Francisco 49ers.

"We're very thankful to Packers fans, and our partners led by Associated Bank, for ensuring Sunday's game will be sold out," Packers president Mark Murphy said in a statement. "A unique season and other factors contributed to having tickets available, but with the support of our fans and partners, we're looking forward to a great atmosphere Sunday at Lambeau Field for the playoff game against the 49ers."

Packers guard Josh Sitton, who joked on Twitter that teammate T.J. Lang was going to buy the extra tickets, was happy to get a sellout.

"It's kind of different," Sitton said. "That's the first time I've heard of a blackout around here. It was different seeing that. I'm glad it finally got taken care of."

Meijer, a corporate sponsor, purchased the final 1,200 tickets to the Colts' home game against the Kansas City Chiefs and has donated them to local military families, the team said in a statement. Now that the game is a sellout, it can be shown on TV in the Indianapolis area.

Colts owner Jim Irsay took to Twitter to deliver the news:

The Colts have now sold out 138 of their past 139 games.

As for the Bengals, corporate sponsor Kroger bought an unspecified large number of tickets on Friday to donate to military families. The Bengals have until 4 p.m. ET to sell the remaining tickets to Sunday's first-round AFC playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.

As of Friday morning, there was no official word as to how many Bengals tickets were left, but a ticket official said the team is now "in the red zone."

The team's Twitter account accidentally floated the number 3,500 late Thursday afternoon before the number was quickly deleted. Team officials later said they weren't able to provide an exact figure,  noting only that it was low enough for an extension to be granted.

Freezing temperatures are a concern for the outdoor games in Green Bay and Cincinnati, but Irsay felt compelled to remind Colts fans on Twitter that they'll be in much more balmy surroundings once they set foot inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

Information from Colts reporter Mike Wells, Packers reporter Rob Demovsky and Bengals reporter Coley Harvey was used in this report.