Lions 'significantly ahead' when it comes to ticket sales

The threat of no football has not defused interest in the Detroit Lions.

The final payment date for season-ticket renewals is May 18 and Lions president Tom Lewand told Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News the franchise is “significantly ahead” of where it was a year ago.

That’s good news for an organization that has struggled to fill Ford Field in recent years. The Lions won their final four games in 2010 and ended a road losing streak in the process, sparking interest in a young, rebuilding club even though quarterback Matthew Stafford has rarely been healthy.

“We are significantly ahead of where we were last year and last year we experienced significant growth over 2009,” Lewand said. “The trend has continued and even accelerated in 2011 vs. 2010. We are up significantly in new ticket sales and we're up also significantly in our overall season-ticket base with renewals on existing season-ticket holders.”

The Lions had only one blackout last season after half of their home games were not shown on local television in 2009. The club also had a 37 percent increase in television ratings, according to the report.

Of course, there has to be football played for the Lions to fill up their stadium this season. And now, the Lions are going to have to deliver on some of the hype and promise.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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