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Jeff Ruby challenging local businesses to buy Bengals tickets to avoid blackout

Ruby donating 100 tickets to military families

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CINCINNATI -- Move over Chad Johnson, famed local restaurateur Jeff Ruby has his own plan to avoid a Bengals blackout Sunday.

The Bengals home playoff game against the San Diego Chargers will be blacked out if the organization doesn’t find a way to sell thousands of tickets by an NFL-mandated deadline.

Ruby announced Thursday via Twitter that he purchased 100 tickets to the game and is donating them to AFTA Cincinnati (Armed Forces Ticket Association) "so military families can attend."

Ruby also challenged other Tri-State businesses and CEOs to buy blocks of 100 tickets to help avoid the blackout.

“It’s important for local business leaders to support the Cincinnati Bengals as they play their first Playoff home game so we can leverage the national and local television attention on our city,” Ruby said. “I challenge other local CEOs to purchase a block of 100 tickets to share with their employees or non-profits like AFTA so we can avoid the blackout.”
 
Businesses that want to purchase blocks of tickets as part of Ruby's "Local Business Challenge" can contact Bengals Director of Sales and Public Affairs spokesperson Jeff Berding at 513-621-8383.
 
Ruby said he is using "#BengalsSellout" on Twitter to encourage others to share the message.

Also in the conversation of how to avoid the blackout is former Bengals wide receiver Johnson, who tweeted Tuesday evening that he'd "get the rest" of the tickets if needed.

In 2009, Johnson reportedly teamed up with Motorola to buy the remaining tickets and avoid a blackout in a regular season against the Houston Texans.

But Berding told WCPO Wednesday evening Bengals officials spoke with Johnson earlier in the day and he was "shocked" by how much it would cost to sell out the game.

University of Cincinnati Economics Center Analyst Jeffry Rexhausen told WCPO Sunday's game could have an economic impact of $14 million to the Tri-State -- including local bar and eatery spending and tickets.

For more information on the possible blackout, CLICK HERE.

RELATED: Kroger buys big block of Bengals playoff tix

READ MORE: What NFL blackouts mean for local sports fans

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