Dallas, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Confident of their playoff chances this season, the Dallas Cowboys have included playoff tickets along with preseason and regular-season tickets they distributed to season-ticket holders.
The playoff tickets include one for the NFC Championship Game, which the Cowboys haven’t been to since 1995 season. The Cowboys went 8-8 in each of the past three seasons and have missed the playoffs the past four years.
“Included in this package are your 2014 playoff tickets and parking (if applicable) for two potential home games at AT&T Stadium,” read a letter that came with the season tickets. “The barcodes on the tickets will be activated when a home playoff game is clinched and the tickets have been paid in full.”
“It’s a convenience for our season-ticket holders to have everything in one package,” said Brett Daniels, the Cowboys director of corporate communications. “It’s an evolution to be fan-friendly. They have their tickets online and if we clinch a playoff berth they go to the computer and click they want the tickets.”
Daniels said in previous years the Cowboys would send out playoff invoices in November and mail them out in December. Fans would send in a check or write in credit card numbers on the invoices.
Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple added that the team had to send playoff tickets to fans anyway at the end of the season for each of the last three years because the team was trying to qualify for the playoffs on the last game of the year.
After NFL teams had problems selling out playoff games this past season, especially the Green Bay Packers, who required their season-ticket holders to pay for the full slate of playoff games before the team even made the playoffs, the league changed its policy requiring teams to charge fans for tickets only as a certain game was clinched.
Brian Lafemina, the league’s senior vice president of club business development, confirmed that the Cowboys are the only team in the league that preprinted and sent out its playoff tickets to fans in advance this year, but he said he expects more teams to adopt this practice in the future.
“It’s operationally efficient for the teams, and it’s convenient for the fan,” Lafemina said. “There are times when teams don’t know if they are hosting a playoff game until a week before, and doing this helps eliminate some of the friction that exists among the teams and fans. This dovetails nicely with our new policy. If a fan says they will pay if a game is played, the team can now charge that fan and the ticket is already in hand.”