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Detroit Among 3 NFL Blackouts in Week 8

DETROIT (TheStreet) -- Nearly 17% of the NFL's teams had big problems selling tickets this week. That's already cost fans in 9% of its markets a televised home game this Sunday.

A season-high three teams -- the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions -- failed to sell out their home game 72 hours before kickoff, violating the NFL's blackout policy, running the league's blackout total for the season to 13 games in eight weeks and bedeviling CBS (CBS) and News Corp's (NWS) Fox's local affiliates. For those keeping score, that's 23% of the home markets for the league's televised games this Sunday. The St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, meanwhile, needed an extension from the league to sell their remaining tickets. The Rams are getting really familiar with this system, as they signed on for their third extension of the season.

 Detroit Lions
Fans of the Detroit Lions join the television blackout club this week after failing to sell out a game against the Washington Redskins.

Detroit Lions fans join the blackout club this week after failing to sell out their Ford (F) Field matchup with the Washington Redskins. It's a slight miracle this didn't happen sooner, as the Lions needed an extension to sell out a home game earlier this season against Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb's former team, the Philadephia Eagles.

It's just another indignity suffered by Lions fans who lost quarterback Matt Stafford earlier this season, endured four blackouts during a 2-14 campaign last season, an 0-16 season in 2008, 13% unemployment in Michigan (second-highest in the U.S. behind Nevada's more than 14%) and more than 14% unemployment in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, there are 33,000 vacant homes in Detroit and another 50,000 in foreclosure. The housing situation is so bleak that the Lions' former home, the 80,000-seat Pontiac Silverdome, sold last year for $583,000.

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