Times change, as most things do.
Don MacLachlan, however, considers the NFL franchise’s streak of consecutive sellouts at LP Field timeless.
If the Tennessee Titans executive vice president has his way that run – 144 games (preseason, regular season and postseason included) and counting – will endure this season and every season in perpetuity. A significant step in that direction comes 10 a.m. Friday when the sale of single-game tickets for the 2013 season commences.
“Selling tickets is a challenging thing for everybody right now,” MacLachlan said. “I think that we’ve worked as hard this offseason as we possibly could. … We’ve tried to aggressively work with our fan base and focus groups to figure out what they want.”
Roughly 3,500 seats to the 10 games (eight regular season, two preseason) are available, as has been the case since the team moved into the stadium with the start of the 1999 season.
For many years, fans camped out for days to be at or near the front of lines for the start of single-game tickets. Often, the vast majority of available seats for the entire season sold within a matter of hours.
That passion for an opportunity to watch games in person has faded in recent years. MacLachlan attributes the shift to several factors, including the opportunity to purchase tickets online and technology innovations that have led some to prefer the comforts of home on gameday.
Teams and the NFL have tried to address some of those issues in recent years. The Titans, for example, installed state-of-the-art video boards two years ago, added elevators to carry spectators to the upper decks and offered incentives designed to enhance the in-stadium experience. They also beefed up their sales staff.
Season tickets have been renewed at a rate of approximately 97 percent annually and the sellout streak continues, albeit as a result of more sustained sales effort.
“With each passing year you work hard to keep your season ticket base, and they have been so supportive,” MacLachlan said. “The enhancements a year and a half ago really, really helped us with the game day experience and the things the fans wanted.
“It is a different dynamic right now even than it was a couple of years ago. The days of people lining up and waiting and what have you are kind of behind us.”
Yet he still cannot envision a day when the Titans play to anything less than a full house.