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Bucs finally admit they bought unsold tickets in 2009

Last year, an odd dynamic emerged in Tampa.  Buccaneers games consistently were sold out, and thus televised locally.  And at most of the supposedly sold out games, vast expanses of empty seats routinely filled the upper deck of Raymond James Stadium.

On Tuesday, the Buccaneers confirmed what many had believed.  The team in 2009 took advantage of the rule that allows the franchise to buy unsold tickets at 34 cents on the dollar.  Per PewterReport.com, Bucs director of communications Jonathan Grella said that the team will no longer engage in that practice.

Grella blames the phenomenon on the team’s competitive struggles, and on local economic challenges.

“While on-field success surely affects ticket sales, the economic
downturn has proven to have a dramatic influence over ticket sales in
this and other sports,” Grella said.  “Tampa is suffering from the
League’s largest unemployment increase (9.3 percent) in the past five
years and the second-worst overall unemployment rate (13.3 percent). So
when that’s the case, you can’t take anything for granted. We’ve
redoubled our efforts to stay connected with our fans through free
events and more affordable seating options ($35 per game season tickets,
$25 youth tickets, long-term payment plans and no more club seat
deposits or contracts).”

Consequently, the team also acknowledged that its preseason home opener will be blacked out.  The second preseason home game likely also won’t be televised locally.

In Week 1 of the preseason, three teams failed to sell out their home stadiums:  the Bengals, the Rams, and the Chargers.

The broader reality is that the league’s previously little-known loophole for avoiding blackouts has gained plenty of exposure in recent months.  And in some markets teams could face fan, media, and/or sponsor pressure to buy up, at 34 cents on the dollar, any unsold seats in order to permit the games to be televised locally.

Then again, for some of the bottom-feeding teams, it may actually be better to not have their home games on television.  Or, for that matter, their road games.

Permalink 51 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Top Stories
51 Responses to “Bucs finally admit they bought unsold tickets in 2009”
  1. Laxer37 says: Aug 18, 2010 9:05 AM

    The Bucs should just do what the Bengals do. File for an extention each week and when that doesn’t work the local CBS affiliate and the local grocery chain will team up to buy all of the unsold tickets and give them away
    If Mike Brown knows anything, he knows how to get something for free.

  2. FinFan says: Aug 18, 2010 9:06 AM

    Dont cry me a river! Blame the nfl for allowing a third team in a poor florida!!! Its hurting miami sales too! However if the bucs wanted more ticket sales they should have drafted tebow

  3. kravon says: Aug 18, 2010 9:06 AM

    Hey old people in Tampa get off your power chairs and support your team.
    Dozens of other cities in the country would love to have your franchise so don’t forget what a privelage it is to have one.
    Kravon
    PFT Charter Member

  4. HooskerDo says: Aug 18, 2010 9:11 AM

    So now Tampa fans finally know what the rest of the league already knew. Where’s that 80K waiting list?

  5. nflisking says: Aug 18, 2010 9:21 AM

    The Chargers should be absolutely ashamed and embarrassed! We expect lousy fan bases with the Bungals and Rams but not with a perennial playoff team such as the Chargers.
    Something really stinks with the Bolts.

  6. PurpleNGold says: Aug 18, 2010 9:25 AM

    it’s bad everywhere
    our money system fails us
    corporate evil
    our economy
    controlled by private people
    Federal Reserve

  7. MACHINE GUN IBIZA says: Aug 18, 2010 9:29 AM

    Given what they have done to Manchester United and Tampa Bay, is it not time to put the Glazers right up there with Donald Sterling, Jim Dolan, and Dan Snyder as the worst owners in sports?

  8. wrekOgnize says: Aug 18, 2010 9:30 AM

    We’re also in an age of HD big screen TVs. That experience is much better than going to the stadium. Hmmm. spend 2 grand on season tickets, or buy a big screen TV that will last well beyond the season.
    ..

  9. Hags says: Aug 18, 2010 9:32 AM

    Nice, now Florio can write about another struggling team besides the Jags. By the way, Jags are just 3k tickets away from avoiding blackouts for the next three years…Go Jags!!!

  10. FireJerryJones says: Aug 18, 2010 9:33 AM

    So they bought tickets to a Bucs game.
    And now they know what every fan knows.
    They paid too much for those tickets!

  11. Bradenton Buc says: Aug 18, 2010 9:36 AM

    BULL!! When the Bucs win, they sell out, simple. Win consistantly and we will have another waiting list. Do you really think Miami did sell out last Saturday!! There were more empty seats than full. So someone bought them. Wink Wink. When TB was sold out everygame, as recently as 2 years ago, Miami was the easiest seat in the NFL to get. Miami is a terrible sports town. To have a major college football power play in a half empty stadium even when winning, is pathetic. The economy and a losing record, make people be a bit picky at how they spend what extra money they have. You people know NOTHING! Get a life.

  12. heyguru says: Aug 18, 2010 9:36 AM

    What a coincidence. Lots of Bucs fans would GLADLY sell their season tickets back at .34cents on the dollar. Who’s buying? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?

  13. eziam says: Aug 18, 2010 9:38 AM

    Because who wouldn’t want to bake in the hot Florida sun while watching a crappy team play. They do have cannonballs though…

  14. BigBear123 says: Aug 18, 2010 9:42 AM

    When the Jags leave town Tampa’s fan base will increase so this won’t be as common.

  15. superb owl says: Aug 18, 2010 9:50 AM

    bucs football will put yer eyes into MEGO phase
    (my eyes glaze over)

  16. raiderrob21 says: Aug 18, 2010 9:51 AM

    DUH! Most teams do this to get their teams on TV. Have you ever seen the crowd at a home game for the 49ers? Many many empty seats at the so called sold out stadium. And they advertise tix available every week in newspapers,radio,and tv. Its hilarious.

  17. Sloan says: Aug 18, 2010 9:53 AM

    HooskerDo says:
    August 18, 2010 9:11 AM
    So now Tampa fans finally know what the rest of the league already knew. Where’s that 80K waiting list?
    ——-
    Exactly!

  18. Patsfan1776 says: Aug 18, 2010 9:57 AM

    Back in the early 90s when the Patriots sucked, I was getting free tickets from a neighbor whose business had season tickets. Mid season, I told my neighbor, no thanks because it wasn’t worth going to a game for free to see a team suck.
    PurpleNGold,
    Do you realize that the opposite of a free market society is SLAVERY? Would you rather have the government force you to buy season tickets for your local team? Many governments already force the tax payers to build the stadiums for these teams.

  19. BroncosFan says: Aug 18, 2010 10:11 AM

    The blackout rule is stupid anyway. The vast majority of ticket-holding fans go for the experience of watching a game in person, not because they’d rather be watching it on TV but can’t because it’s been blacked out. I’m guessing the small jump in ratings the league would get from letting each local fan watch their team every week would outweigh any marginal losses in the seats.

  20. Alfie says: Aug 18, 2010 10:11 AM

    Reasons?
    There are no reasons.
    They just have a crappy fanbase that can’t support a team and will be moving to Los Angeles or London.
    Right?
    Right?

  21. AlCortez says: Aug 18, 2010 10:20 AM

    Why does an owner need a loophole to get around the rule? It’s the league’s rule and the league=the owners.

  22. sethb22 says: Aug 18, 2010 10:40 AM

    # MACHINE GUN IBIZA says: August 18, 2010 9:29 AM
    Given what they have done to Manchester United and Tampa Bay, is it not time to put the Glazers right up there with Donald Sterling, Jim Dolan, and Dan Snyder as the worst owners in sports?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    So Dumb, Manchester United wins every year and makes billions of dollars doing it. They won a Super Bowl with the Bucs. Multiple championships over the last decade is bad? Tell that to Eagles fans! Its not the owners fault for an economic downfall and having to rebuild after Gruden and Allen left this team old and lacking young talent.

  23. MACHINE GUN IBIZA says: Aug 18, 2010 10:53 AM

    Sethb22—-
    They have leveraged so much cash out of Man U that it’s debt is now somewhere near a BILLION dollars. Their stewardship of the team has been a national scandal in Britain.
    Try a google search and get some facts before you spout off again yes?

  24. Bordner says: Aug 18, 2010 10:54 AM

    @ Patsfan1776
    I think you need to give PurpleNGold the credit he’s looking for for rockin’ the hiaku this morning.

  25. Marty says: Aug 18, 2010 10:55 AM

    The fact that there are 3 teams in Florida has nothing to do with it. Those cities are way too far apart to draw fans from each other. Jacksonville is 4 hours from Tampa. Tampa is about 4 hours from Miami.

  26. JSpicoli says: Aug 18, 2010 11:16 AM

    The first step to contraction. It’s coming before 2013. Jags or Bucs would be one of the first to go, but don’t doubt the NFL wouldn’t trim itself to 28 teams.
    Just like owners holding off blackouts for a year or two, or people putting off bankruptcies as long as they can (those rates are skyrocketing btw), the proverbial dung has yet to truly hit the fan as far as economic repercussions of the stalled economy. There is always a lag effect, especially for those in denial.

  27. brasho says: Aug 18, 2010 11:24 AM

    Wait, everybody hold their horses! I thought the Bucs owners were the cheapest in sports? But it turns out they were purchasing 15,000 tickets per game last season so the fans would have an opportunity to see their home team? Sure, they were paying 34 cents on the dollar, but that still amounts to purchasing and eating 5,000 tickets every home game. At $50 a piece, that’s $250,000 they ate per week… some cheapskates they are.
    The Bucs aren’t moving. They’re goiug to be far better this season and the fans would come back. Yes, this horrible recession has a lot to do with it, but winning in Tampa will cure a lot of ills unlike in San Diego and Jacksonville where they nearlyhave to blackout playoff games.

  28. brasho says: Aug 18, 2010 11:28 AM

    kravon says:
    August 18, 2010 9:06 AM
    Hey old people in Tampa get off your power chairs and support your team.
    Dozens of other cities in the country would love to have your franchise so don’t forget what a privelage it is to have one.
    Kravon
    PFT Charter Member
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Too bad you aren’t a charter member of “Hooked on Phonics”. “Privelage”? Are you seriously that stupid AND egotistical to brag about being a charter member of PFT (so am I, as a matter of fact, I worked for CFT back in the day, but I don’t go around sporting it as a sig) and spell the word “Privilege” so poorly that it probably wouldn’t even be found in a bad speller’s dictionary.

  29. dirtyjerz says: Aug 18, 2010 11:44 AM

    What made this whole thing even crazier is that the Bucs didn’t give the purchase tickets to the fans who would of been greatful to see a live game….they just let the seats remain seatless, what a bunch of b_tches.

  30. Okey says: Aug 18, 2010 11:48 AM

    It is what the owners asked for by hiring a guy that has no notoriety and during his 1st season he just proved people’s skepticism to be validated and lost faith that many may have had in him. If that isn’t bad enough they do the exact same thing at the QB position.
    I am puzzled by how some people want to BELIEVE something so bad that they will proclaim these people to be something that they have done nothing to deserve OR even more importantly haven’t EARNED such title or praise.
    A few years back people boasted highly about Jamarcus Russell and look how that turned out.

  31. PurpleNGold says: Aug 18, 2010 11:59 AM

    @ Patsfan1776
    There’s nothing free about our economy, we are currently slaves to a private corporation known as the Federal Reserve Bank. We pay them the face value of every dollar they print plus interest, so there’s never enough money to pay off our debt. We can not identify the owners of this company or what countries the owners have citizenship in; we can not get an audit of this bank that controls our economy. They quit reporting the total amount of dollars in circulation several years ago.
    Ever wonder why nothing real changes no matter who is elected? Ever wonder why, as a nation, we’ve killed over one million people in an illegal war? Follow the money trail and you’ll find the root of this evil.

  32. craigolney says: Aug 18, 2010 12:08 PM

    All Florida teams buy the general admission tickets, so the games can be on TV. Nothing wrong with that. The bigger question is why don’t these teams just offer deeply discounted upper level seats; $5 or $10 bucks?
    In Miami you can slip the security guys $20 bucks and they will let anyone into the Club Level to enjoy the AC.

  33. edgy1957 says: Aug 18, 2010 12:18 PM

    JSpicoli says:
    The first step to contraction. It’s coming before 2013.
    ***********************
    Blah, blah, blah, blah. MLB naysayers said the same thing but you know, they haven’t contracted any teams and they don’t plan on doing it any time soon and that talk came long ago and the NFL is in far better shape than MLB.

  34. edgy1957 says: Aug 18, 2010 12:22 PM

    Do some of you goof balls have an idea about geography? Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa are so far apart that they don’t hurt each other’s ticket base. Hell, with the economy like it is, what makes you think that people that won’t buy tickets to their local teams will fly or drive to the other cities if one of them moves?

  35. Outlaw Jersey Whales says: Aug 18, 2010 12:28 PM

    Marty says:
    August 18, 2010 10:55 AM
    “The fact that there are 3 teams in Florida has nothing to do with it. Those cities are way too far apart to draw fans from each other. Jacksonville is 4 hours from Tampa. Tampa is about 4 hours from Miami.”
    ————————————————–
    You obviously have never seen my wife drive.
    She commutes from Venice to Sarasota and back every weekday. Total round trip never exceeds 10 minutes. This is when she is not in a hurry.
    I have no doubt that she could begin at EverBank Field, drive by Raymond James Stadium then proceed to Sun Life Stadium in an hour, tops.
    That includes a stop somewhere along Route 4 and another before she gets on Alligator Alley to replace those bothersome tires that are constantly liquifying.

  36. TBTrojan says: Aug 18, 2010 12:29 PM

    Finally????
    Maybe if you started paying attention you would know they said this months ago. More like “Florio finally notices 3 month old news”

  37. notorious_buc says: Aug 18, 2010 12:33 PM

    BULL!! When the Bucs win, they sell out, simple. Win consistantly and we will have another waiting list
    ___________________________________
    Been a season ticket holder for a loooong time, and after a two-win stretch the stadium’s packed…even in the wretched creamsicle era.

  38. seventy7 says: Aug 18, 2010 12:33 PM

    I have lived in Tampa for the past 14 years. These are the worst fans you can imagine. Nothing but bandwagon followers. I guarantee that if the bucs start the season by winning the first two games, that every seat in that place will be filled up. I absolutely hate it.
    Fans in tampa use the excuse that they are from up north or “Giants fans” but transplanted to Tampa. But those are the first ones that you see at K-Mart buying a cheap ass bucs jersey after they win a game…POSERS!!!

  39. bigpat says: Aug 18, 2010 1:21 PM

    Tampa is a crap sports citylet that should never have gotten an NFL franchise. The Rays are in first place and they still can’t sell out unless the yankees come to town. Like half the real estate in FL, the Bucs should be foreclosed upon and sold off to L.A., until the poofs there grow weary of football and move somewhere else.

  40. Other Bears says: Aug 18, 2010 1:27 PM

    Just a wacky thought, but maybe Florida doesn’t need 3 freakin’ NFL teams!

  41. JSpicoli says: Aug 18, 2010 1:33 PM

    edgy1957 says:
    August 18, 2010 12:18 PM
    JSpicoli says:
    The first step to contraction. It’s coming before 2013.
    ***************** ******
    Blah, blah, blah, blah. MLB naysayers said the same thing but you know, they haven’t contracted any teams
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
    Yada yada yada…… Keep listening to the Barney Frank’s of the world, and when the tsunami hits, you’ll at least have a smile on your face.
    I said it is coming, mark my words, and this is PFootballTalk. You want my opinion on MLB, NBA and NHL? Those are contracting sooner and harder than the NFL. There is a shiite storm coming.

  42. Ilovefoolsball says: Aug 18, 2010 1:46 PM

    Why would anyone want to pay to see the Bucs and Freeman play? It’s hard enough having to endure the lowlights!

  43. dvh1000 says: Aug 18, 2010 1:47 PM

    I remember when the Vikings were worried about a black out during a playoff game. Every city has bandwagon fans. Raiders have had black outs too. What’s your point Seventy7?

  44. maxwellsmart says: Aug 18, 2010 2:12 PM

    Hey you bunch of jackwagons…..suport your team or they will be called the LA Bucks!
    At least Jacksonville is buying tickets!

  45. jj jones says: Aug 18, 2010 2:16 PM

    Manchester Buccaneers

  46. edgy1957 says: Aug 18, 2010 2:20 PM

    JSpicoli says:
    Yada yada yada…… Keep listening to the Barney Frank’s
    *******************
    You really don’t have a clue, especially when you try to bring someone into the conversation who has nothing to do with any of this. The NFL might move a team or two but they WON’T contract. It’s apparently gone over your head that they are the ONLY one of the Big 4 that doesn’t have a team in LA and YET, they make more in TV revenue than all the others do and they play a much shorter season.

  47. craigolney says: Aug 18, 2010 3:10 PM

    Contract teams? More like expansion in a few years, or at least an NFL minor league. The UFL is doing the market research for them, if those markets work then we will see some type of minor league system. The UFL season ends earlier and the players are free to sign with an NFL team once their season is over. You can read between the lines that it is in the works, the details just need to be figured out on how much profit sharing there will be if the teams are shared like they do in the D-League, and who gets to run the teams. Will it be a neutral playbook or will guys be in the minors learning the pro playbook? Its only details.

  48. PackerJerry says: Aug 18, 2010 9:59 PM

    For the most part it all comes down to the fans who stick with their team, win OR lose, decisions good OR bad, weather warm OR frigid. Props to the Steelers, Browns and Eagles… but there is no one more dedicated in the NFL than a Green Bay Packers fan. I know, I’m one of them.
    1960’s: 96-38-5 (all games at Lambeau Field sold-out)
    1970’s: 57-82-5 (all games at Lambeau Field sold-out)
    1980’s: 65-84-3 (all games at Lambeau Field sold out)
    1990’s: 93-67-0 (all games at Lambeau Field sold out)
    2000’s: 95-65-0 (all games at Lambeau Field sold out)
    Be it the “Glory Years” or the “Sorry Years,” Packer Backers will always be there for their team. Not to mention the fact that Green Bay fans are one of the best road fans in the league following their team wherever they play.
    Just sayin’.
    For Schlitz and giggles, check this out: http://tiny.cc/hqkk8

  49. TornadoRex says: Aug 19, 2010 8:45 PM

    The Bucs aren’t moving anywhere, so you morons need to stop parroting that idea. They’re hooked in Tampa as Hillsborough County footed the ENTIRE bill for Raymond James Stadium.
    Oh, and Florio… how does Gruden’s jock taste? The Bucs seem to be your favorite team to crap on since your boy was fired.

  50. bleedsteal says: Aug 19, 2010 9:05 PM

    Ha! Bucs to L.A.! What a sorry bunch of fans!

  51. TornadoRex says: Aug 19, 2010 9:45 PM

    Go figure, some dumbass spouts off the LA crap again..

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