49er’s fans all but shut out of Seattle
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
Seattle’s CenturyLink field is believed to be perhaps the most difficult stadium to visit in the NFL due to the mind-numbing din that the infamous 12th man can produce. Furthering the difficulty of playing there, the Seahawks had some strategic ticket sales for their playoff game with the San Francisco 49ers: on January 13, tickets went on sale for the NFC Championship Game, but were only available to those with a billing address in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, and two Canadian provinces.
It’s no wonder the Seahawks are ensuring as much of the stadium is filled with their faithful; according to Guinness Book of World Records, Seattle surpassed the previous record held by the Kansas City Chiefs with a 137.6 decibel reading for loudest crowd noise—energy levels that are on par with a magnitude 2 earthquake. By beating the New Orleans Saints 23-15 the previous week, Seattle earned the right to host the NFC Championship against San Francisco. With the two teams splitting the season series 1-1, the question remains—will regulating ticket purchasers have an impact on the result of the Championship title?
San Fran fans were in an uproar for the most recent debate on ticket purchases for the big game, and a constitutional attorney said Seattle has gone about ticket sales in a curious fashion with regard to certain legal aspects. In an interview with CBS Sacramento, lawyer Jeffrey Kravitz said, “Only the federal government can regulate commerce between the states.”
He continued: “There’s no rationale to say, ‘Well, tax revenue supported the stadium, so therefore only people from the state of Washington can go to the game.’ They blew it by saying people in godforsaken Canada can buy tickets to the game, but Americans cannot buy tickets to the game.”
Kravitz finished by commenting on the possible discriminatory nature of the shutout, saying, “They’re clearly discriminating against people from other states. But in reality, they’re going to be punished next Sunday [January 19].”
Is it fair to question why Canadians—with arguably weaker ties to the American league as compared to Californians—were able to purchase tickets? My guess is the tickets were shut out in order to prevent the ‘Niners fans from packing out their field for the Championship game. Then again, who would ever admit that? The Denver Broncos have followed suit for the Bronco-Patriots AFC Championship by limiting buyers to those around the Rocky Mountain states. Many would agree that what Seattle did was not fair, but after all, why wouldn’t you want to keep an advantage against the opposing team?