McCarthy not worried about ticket sales

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers will have a better idea by the end of business on Wednesday how many tickets remain for Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field, but coach Mike McCarthy did not sound concerned his team would lose any of its home-field advantage.

As of Wednesday morning, 8,500 tickets still remained in the 80,750-seat stadium. The team was expected to update that number later in the day.

The Packers have until 3:40 p.m. local time on Thursday to sell out before they would have to ask the NFL for an extension to avoid the game being blacked out on local television. The league considers both the Green Bay and Milwaukee markets to be the Packers’ local coverage area.

“I fully expect and have great confidence that it will be an incredible environment come Sunday,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “We have great fans. These are the games our fans live for, so I really have no concern about it at all. I have confidence that whatever needs to be done will be done.”

When the Packers clinched the NFC North and their playoff berth with Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears, 40,000 tickets still remained for the wild-card game.

The Packers sent playoff-ticket invoices to season-ticket holders during the middle of the stretch in which quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined because of a broken collarbone. It’s not unusual for the Packers to have playoff tickets available but not in this large of a quantity. Last year, for example, the team had about 2,000 tickets available at the start of the week before their wild-card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The team has lifted all limitations on the quantity of tickets that individuals can purchase.

Weather, the team’s record and ticket prices and policies all could be a factor in the slow sales. The high temperature on Sunday is expected to be in the single digits with the low in double digits below zero. The Packers (8-7-1) are 2 1/2-point underdogs to the 49ers (12-4). Face-value ticket prices range from $102 to $313.