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Encyclopedia > National Football League exhibition season

The National Football League exhibition season refers to the NFL's pre-season games before the NFL regular season starts. Each NFL team plays four exhibition games. The National Football League (NFL) is the largest and most prestigious professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from American cities and regions. ... // The NFL season begins the weekend after Labor Day. ...

Exhibition Season

Summers see most NFL teams playing four exhibition games (referred to by the NFL as "preseason games;" the league discourages the use of the term "exhibition game") from early August through early September. Two "featured" preseason games, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and American Bowl, do not count toward the normal allotment of four games, so the four teams playing in those games each end up playing five exhibition games. An exhibition game is the North American term for a sporting event in which there is no gain or loss from whether the competitors are victorious or not in the competition. ... The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League pre-season exhibition game that is held a few days after the Pro Football Hall of Fames induction ceremonies. ... The American Bowl is the name of a series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that are held at international sites outside the United States. ...

The games are useful for new players that are not used to playing in front of very large crowds. Management often uses the games to evaluate newly signed players. Veteran players will generally play only for about a quarter of each game so they can avoid injury.

Still, pro football is popular enough that many fans are still willing to pay full price for exhibition games so that they may guarantee themselves a seat during the season. This is evidenced by the fact that many teams are sold out on a season ticket basis and have large waiting lists where people are willing to pay a one-time or annual fee for the privilege of remaining on the waiting list. There are some teams (such as the Buffalo Bills) offer promotions and discounts to fill the stands for preseason games. City Orchard Park, New York Team colors Navy blue, light blue, Red, light Red, White, Royal, and Nickel Head Coach Dick Jauron Owner Ralph Wilson General manager Marv Levy Mascot Billy Buffalo League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American...

Although several exhibition games are broadcast nationally, most are broadcast by local television stations. Exhibition games are almost exclusively played at night due to hot summer weather, and are frequently scheduled based on local convenience (e.g. games on the west coast tend to start at 7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET). PST is UTC-8, highlighted in red. ... Metronome, a public art installation showing the time in New York City The Eastern Time Zone (ET) of the Western Hemisphere falls mostly along the east coast of Northern America and the west coast of South America. ...


Currently, every NFL team requires their season ticket holders to purchase tickets at full price for two preseason games as a requirement to purchase regular season tickets. Complaints regarding this policy have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but have failed to change the policy. A judgment in 1974 stated: "No fewer than five lawsuits have been instituted from Dallas to New England, each claiming that the respective National Football League (NFL) team had violated the Sherman Act by requiring an individual who wishes to purchase a season ticket for all regular season games to buy, in addition, tickets for one or more exhibition or preseason games." [1] The Sherman Antitrust Act was the first government action to limit trusts (A combination of firms or corporations who agree not to lower prices below a certain rate for the purpose of reducing competition and controlling prices throughout a business or an industry). ...

Additionally, some players, coaches, and journalists object to the 4 week preseason schedule. Players have little monetary incentive to play in the preseason, since they are paid only a training-camp per diem for these games, their salaries do not begin until the regular season, and thus they are essentially playing them "for free". In spite of this, the risk of injury during the preseason is just as great as during the regular season. Nearly every year, marquee players are lost for the season due to injuries in exhibition games. In spite of these objections, owners continue to endorse the four game preseason, as they are an easy source of revenue, and thus are unlikely to go away in the foreseeable future. [2]


  1. ^ Angelo F. CONIGLIO v HIGHWOOD SERVICES, INC. lawsuit, United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, April 17, 1974
  2. ^ Starkey, Joe "Exhibition overkill", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 17, 2006



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