Packer Game Blackouts in the Twin Cities / Western Wisconsin

As a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities, it is often frustrating when the Packer games are not on tv.  I usually end up going to a bar that has the game on, or finding a friend with DirecTV that will have the game on.  This year I solved my problems by purchasing a Slingbox (more on that later).

What is the most frustrating, is that last year I assumed a few times that the game would be on TV here because the Packers were not on at the same time as the Vikings or were on different networks and was disappointed to find that the games were STILL blacked out.  I have emailed the local FOX station a letter asking them to list for me which games will be aired, or at least what the restrictions are for Fox to air Packers games in the Vikings’ primary marketplace.  If I get a response I will be sure to update this article.  Update 10/2: FOX has written me back and I’ve posted an update.

Here is what I know:

  • Whenever the Packers play at the same time as the Vikings and they are both on FOX, the Vikings game is aired and not the Packers.
  • Week 2 was NOT blacked out.  Packers were at noon on CBS, Vikings were at noon on FOX.  I do not know if it works the other way around, though (Packers on FOX, Vikings on CBS at the same time).

Here is what I DO NOT know:

  • FOX might not be allowed to show the Packers in the Twin Cities metro area when the games are not nationally televised, even when the schedule doesn’t conflict with the Vikings.  Last year there was a game that fell into this scenario and FOX played a damn infomercial instead of the Packers.  I was not happy that day.

Here are the games that will certainly be blacked out, as they are to be aired on the same network (FOX) at the same time:

Week 3: Sun 9/27/2009 @ St. Louis Rams 12:00pm on FOX [was blacked out, both games on FOX at noon]
Week 7: Sun 10/25/2009 @ Cleveland Browns 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon on FOX]
Week 11: Sun 11/22/2009 vs. San Francisco 49ers 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon on FOX]

Here are all the POTENTIAL games that will be blacked out:

Week 6: Sun 10/18/2009 vs. Detroit Lions 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon on CBS, so probably blacked out]
Week 9: Sun 11/8/2009 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings Bye, but still might be blacked out]
Week 10: Sun 11/15/2009 vs. Dallas Cowboys 3:15pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon, but still might be blacked out]
Week 14: Sun 12/13/2009 @ Chicago Bears 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon on CBS, but still might be blacked out]
Week 15: Sun 12/20/2009 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings @ 7:20 on NBC, but still might be blacked out]
Week 16: Sun 12/27/2009 vs. Seattle Seahawks 12:00pm on FOX [Vikings play Mon night, but still might be blacked out]
Week 17: Sun 1/3/2010 @ Arizona Cardinals 3:15pm on FOX [Vikings @ noon on FOX, but still might be blacked out]

Solutions:

  • Get a Slingbox and set it up at your friend or relative’s house in good ol’ eastern WI.  Basically the slingbox streams your tv (cable, antenna, satellite, whatever you have) on the web, and you can log in and access it from anywhere.  This is what I’ve been doing this year, works pretty well if you have decent bandwidth at both the source and where you are watching from.
  • Get DirecTV w/ the NFL Sunday Ticket (cha ching!  expensive…)
  • Go to a bar that has the game on

Bars in the St Paul area I’d recommend:

Good luck Twin Cities Packer fans, and GO PACK!
Kevin

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  • AATP

    I live in Dallas and it is a must to have the “cha ching” DirecTV NFL Ticket… I figured I’d just buy the entire $400 package including HD and the works… I really love it, but you do pay hefty for all the fun little knick knacks you get with it like the SuperFan package and all NFL games in HD… Gotta really want it though… :)

  • Chad Davis

    I hit up the Herkimer on Lyndale in Uptown Minneapolis.

  • Rocky70

    Blackouts are from way back when…. I never thought I’d see a time (again) when you had to look for a location to watch a game….. With teams hurting financially, possible team moves and the CBA up in the air, the NFL may be in for some rough times over the next few years.

    I hope there’s enough ‘smart’ people with influence who consider the fans when they push their agendas……… The NFL will really be hurting if too many fans bail out.

  • Mike Behnke

    I have the same Packers viewing problem and I see what you mean about Gabe’s. Some other places in the Twins I’ve found to view blacked out games are

    The Herkimer in South Minneapolis – not bad but get there by 11:30 am.

    Tiffany Lounge in St Paul Highland Park – probably my new favorite, it’s usually not crowded and they have a nice bloody mary bar if you like those (I do)

    If you don’t mind driving Scab’s Place in Prescott WI is decent

    And yes, Go Pack!

    Behnke

  • http://www.yahoo.com SN

    Love the Herkimer. Saw the Packers-Cowboys game there a couple of years ago.

  • Pack4life

    Sad that Gabes changed the format I used to live walking distance from there

  • ILLPACKFAN

    Once you have Direct package, call them every year about 1& 1/2 months before the season starts. Tell them you are going to cancel because of the price. Keep telling them you are gonna cancel and each time they will drop the price. After the third time you will have the package with HD for 1/2 price. 3rd year in a row for me.

  • Pete H

    there can’t be a game shown opposite of the local team when they are at home, regardless of which network the doubleheader is scheduled for. thats an NFL rule…eg when the Pack are at home they will be the only game on at that time in GB.

  • scotto

    Living in the Cincinnati area, I feel your pain. Aside from the national / prime time games, I usually need to go to a bar to catch the Packers..

    Fortunately there are ample watering holes nearby – usually heavily populated by Packer fans!!!!!

  • O’Jeff

    I lived in Greeley, CO years back (91-93) and was bummed to think I wouldn’t be able to get games in any way shape or form –

    Then I found The Dugout. I’m pretty sure that was the name. Right there by the Smiling Moose.

    Yes. A Packer Bar – in Greeley Freaking Colorado! Sometimes Packer Nation is positively mind-boggling.

    Personally, I think the NFL needs to reassess the whole blackout concept. With the revenue stream that comes from television, it would seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face to shut that market out due to a minor lapse in ticket sales during rough economic times.

  • Pack4life

    I live south of Tampa and found a ton of Packer fans at a Buffalo Wild Wings that was only 2 months old. It is Mind Boggling. Is Dave Sinaken still on KFAN?

  • Matt Hayton

    I live in Seattle and have taken in a few games at The Mustard Seed Grill & Pub in Newport Hills, WA, which is on the eastside of Seattle. I have the Sunday ticket so usually watch them at home, but ocassionally I venture down that way for the comradrie usally 50+ Packer backers at that bar on game day!

    There’s even a website for NW Packer fans…
    http://www.northwestpackerbackers.com/

    Crazy, no matter where you go in the country you’ll find packer fans! Awesome!

  • Steve Cheez

    Anybody near Naperville, Illinois, White’s Tavern on Ogden Avenue showed all the games a few years ago when I lived there. Wall-to-wall Green ‘N Gold, the beer is cheap and they even serve brats.

    Now in California, I’m a hostage to DirecTV. Yeah, it’s expensive, but cheaper than going out somewhere. Thanks for the tip, though, ILLPACKFAN, I’ll have to try that next year.

  • Lew

    What is all the love for Herkimer’s? Really? I live 6 blocks from it and love there sweet potato fries, but the largest tv is like 25″ and there are not that many of them. Champps downtown. Have a designated Packer room in back with 5-6 TV’s tuned to the game

  • BaltoPackerFan

    Living in Baltimore, the Packers are rarely on since we have the Ravens, Redskins, and Eagles so close. But we have made a side bar at Padonia Station “Little Lambeau” and it’s a great place to watch all the action with lots of fans – more show up every week.

  • iccyfan

    Steve Cheez Says: “Anybody near Naperville, Illinois, White’s Tavern on Ogden Avenue showed all the games a few years ago when I lived there. Wall-to-wall Green ‘N Gold, the beer is cheap and they even serve brats.”

    I lived in the Western Suburbs in the late 1980’s and took in many Packer games at White’s! It’s good to hear that the tradition lives on…

  • Cody

    I live in south dakota, and as far as i could ever tell it is just like living in the cities when it comes to blackouts. Good thing that on campus here they have sunday ticket, and we can go to the student center and watch any game we want for free on a nice, big HD tv! Its a nice setup, they even have cheap (but tasty) all-u-can-eat wings!
    Gotta love college!

  • Pete H

    My brother lives in Naperville and I spent many a day there, but I’ve never been to that tavern. I am from the SW suburbs…Frankfort, where there were plenty of places that show all the games. I kind of like going to a place with a good mix of different fans…you hear cheering and booing constantly.

  • ScottS

    Talk about mind-boggling, if you live in northwest or north central Wisconsin and your local tv comes from minnesota then you can’t even get your home team in your home state unless you pay for it. (satellite, cable, etc.)

  • ZachK

    The DirecTV monopoly really ticks me off, and the NFL is going to pay for it eventually. The hubris is amazing. Oh well, until they pull their head out of you know where, a great, not crowded place to watch the Packers is the 8th Street Grill in downtown Minneapolis (corner of 8th and Marquette. The whole dining area has the Packer game on. I will have to try Champp’s though.

  • JasonW

    Thanks ZackK I hate having to go to the herkimer an hour before the game to find a place to sit and the 8th st grill is 3 blocks away from where i live…..

  • Jeremy

    Got bread on New England, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Baby needs shoes. Lol

  • Jill

    Direct TV is the best way to watch the Packers. I live in CO. We used to go to a bar to watch the games, but you can’t really hear or see the game well enough in a bar, and with food and drinks, you might as well pay Direct TV and see all the games in the comfort of your home! You can also see any other game all season! Direct TV is totally worth it!!!