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Power Take: Fourth NFL preseason game should permanently go away

Mark Gaughan

Get ready, football fans, for the single most useless, pointless, waste-of-time event on America’s sports calendar: the fourth and final NFL preseason game.

It’s hard to get businesses to stop charging for something customers historically purchase. I guess this is the basic economic principle at work to explain why the NFL still gets away with charging full price.

Loyal fans have no recourse but to buy their tickets. But it would be great to see fans organize mass protests and let the NFL teams play in front of utterly empty stadiums this week.

There is growing sentiment among NFL owners to get rid of the fourth game and give teams two weeks to ramp up for the regular season. But the NFL has been too slow to act. Teams already have a way to make up part of the lost revenue: With variable pricing plans that increase ticket prices for several of the more attractive regular-season games. Coaches easily could live with just two exhibitions, in fact, by running joint practices and scrimmages with other teams. For the love of God, please spare us four exhibitions.

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