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Bucs wins haven't translated to attendance

They may or may not be the best team in the NFC.  (We’ll humbly vote “not” for now.) This much we know: The Bucs have the the worst attendance in the NFC.

Only 36,008 fans showed up to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday to watch Josh Freeman take out the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter.

Seating capacity at the stadium is 65,857, so that means more than 45% of the stadium was empty.  The Bucs actually sold 42,020 tickets, but more than 6,000 seats went unclaimed.

Three major league baseball teams averaged more than 42,020 tickets sold-per-game in 2010.

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31 Responses to “Bucs wins haven't translated to attendance”
  1. Doctor Bull says: Oct 25, 2010 2:37 PM

    It’s the same reason that the other high-performing teams in the bay area aren’t/haven’t drawn recently…no one here has any money. Unemployment = 14%
    Add the underemployed and its over 20%.
    The people that do have jobs are working their tails off to make sure they aren’t next to join the unemployment line.
    The fans in this area have a great deal of passion for our teams, and I only hope that the fortunes of everyone who is struggling right now will turn around, so that they may have the means to take time and relax by doing things the love to do, like (but not limited to) going to sporting events.

  2. treeman says: Oct 25, 2010 2:42 PM

    As a southwest Florida resident, I can make two observations. One is that if you were here in the nineties, there was a huge number of bandwagon fans created. It took a few years, but it worked. Once the stars of that era declined, and there weren’t allstars on the roster, those folks bailed. The other thing is the economy. This part of Florida is driven by the housing market, always has been. Between the people who lost their jobs, and the people who lost huge portions of their retirement in the market, the so so Bucs are just not a draw. When times are bleak, no one wants to go watch their team get beat.
    It is going to take years for the Bucs to rebuild their fanbase, longer than it takes to build a team. When they make the playoffs for the second year in a row, fans will start to come back, not before.

  3. gbsn3219 says: Oct 25, 2010 2:42 PM

    I don’t understand why you are so bewildered about attendance PFT writers. NFL games are expensive, and people do not have a lot of expendable income. I know that’s pretty hard for someone who lives in a bubble like yourself Rosenthal, but that is the case for many people. Especially now that the product is watered down expect more of the same. The NFL is a dying breed. It’s peak was early on in this decade, and it is declining rapidly. There were a lot of people who started watching football because it was “cool”, and now those same individuals have lost interest. On top of that true fans are pissed, because of Goodell’s desire to change things every three days. The result is less interest across the board, and yes the outcome will be lower attendence.

  4. The Curse of Bobby Layne Part 2 says: Oct 25, 2010 2:48 PM

    Well, its pretty clear that there are only old people in the area who are not interested in professional sports at all….Look at how “well” the Rays’ games were/are attended!
    Horrible town for a major sports franchise!
    ….And you can’t use that “our stadium is in a horrible location” crap…..Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is about the worst location for any stadium to exist, yet it is packed night in and night out by folks living over an hour away….

  5. BBB82 says: Oct 25, 2010 2:55 PM

    I bet the Bucs have a great fan base, but I can’t say I blame them when tickets are as high priced as they are. Not to mention $20 to park, $8 for a cup of lite beer, $5 for a f’ing hotdog, $4 for a bottle of water etc…
    Oh, and don’t forget to buy your license to be able to buy your tickets.

  6. prnandhomeless says: Oct 25, 2010 2:56 PM

    maybe it’s just that Tampa Bay isn’t a good place for sports
    in MLB, the Rays are always at the bottom of attendance too. They should just stop putting teams in Florida if it’s not in Miami (and the Orlando Magic seems to garner a crowd)

  7. rocknrollsinger says: Oct 25, 2010 2:56 PM

    It’s devastating, really it is. But I honestly feel like the NFL’s blackout rule is working against the Bucs. They have such a young unknown roster and a young unknown coach that the locals can hardly get to know their exciting, scrappy young team unless they are die hards like those of us who comment on this and other websites (and sadly, I live in Nashville). If these games were televised, perhaps folks would get to know the players, get excited, and save up some cash for next season’s tickets. Last year’s 3-13 team and the unceremonious release of Jon Gruden, Derrick Brooks, and company washed away all the team’s star power. This team’s got a gutty QB and an exciting young core and a bright future. Get on the train now. And for the love of God, Magic Johnson, keep your hands off my team.

  8. Money Mike says: Oct 25, 2010 2:57 PM

    Not a big suprise, look at what happened to the Rays and the Jaguars. Whose idea was it to have 7 pro teams in Florida??? Well, whoever these people were they or the people that they passed it on to are paying a huge price. Its a shame b/c their are so many other states who don’t have a pro sports franchise that would love too and would have so much support. With the economy and college football in Florida, I think this is only gonna get worse.

  9. Floridacock says: Oct 25, 2010 3:01 PM

    If yo want to talk about unclaimed seats, take a look around. The “big time” Dolphins / Steelers game had a ton of empty seats in the upper decks. I’m sure 3/4 of the other borderline blackout teams had many, many empty seats. Only way we can tell the Glazers to put their money where their mouths are. And don’t talk about our 4 – 2 record. We have beaten teams with a cumulative record of 8 – 18! We have a good future only if the owners bring in better coaching and players. If they want to totally build through the draft, then we will be back when they are done.

  10. Tuffguy says: Oct 25, 2010 3:03 PM

    This team is nowhere near as good as their record. Plus its still 90degrees here and nobody wants to go sit through 3.5 hours of 3 minute tv timeouts. Add the facts that the fans cant get behind this group of thugs (bye Stevens you rapist) and that they are still getting over how the team threw out Derrick Brooks to the curb.
    And Doctor Bull hit it on the head… “It’s the economy stupid”. Lower the prices retards. $95/person to sit in the upper deck in the sun just doesn’t seem like a good time to many people.

  11. jfdane says: Oct 25, 2010 3:07 PM

    I went to the Tampa Bay vs Saints game last weekend and I don’t think it has as much to do with the money as it does with the fact that the Tampa Bay fans are very boring and the game was not fun.
    I have not been to any football game recently where the home team did not stand and yell loudly when your team is on defense. NO ONE stood up in my section. I actually got taken to the Tampa Bay Stadium Jail for standing up and yelling for my team. The fans there have no idea how to cheer their team on and as a result the game experience there sucks.
    The facility and the tailgating area are awesome and the stadium workers (with the exception of the fat beer vendor in section 149) were extremely nice and helpful.

  12. notorious_buc says: Oct 25, 2010 3:08 PM

    The economic climate is wretched there, undoubtedly, but there are other factors involved here. The principal one is the disdain fans have for the ownership. It would be nice if people could put aside the bile the Glazers generate and support the team. They’re missing the maturation of some talented players to spite some cheapskate businessmen.
    I’m certainly no Glazer fan, but was the free agent inactivity such an imprudent move? I’d much rather have the money available to lock up young potential superstars like Freeman and Mike Williams than have it rotting as dead money for someone like Fat Albert.

  13. TBF22 says: Oct 25, 2010 3:17 PM

    Money Mike hit it on the head…. FL just has too much other things to do… People can go see one of the 4 Major College teams play on Saturday or go see one of the 3 NFL teams play on Sunday…. along with low fanbase, economy, and priorities… it’s just not a good mix.
    Also 6,000 tickets went unused… so it’s not just the economy, fan base is at an all time low too.

  14. Money Mike says: Oct 25, 2010 3:17 PM

    # gbsn3219 says: October 25, 2010 2:42 PM
    I don’t understand why you are so bewildered about attendance PFT writers. NFL games are expensive, and people do not have a lot of expendable income. I know that’s pretty hard for someone who lives in a bubble like yourself Rosenthal, but that is the case for many people. Especially now that the product is watered down expect more of the same. The NFL is a dying breed. It’s peak was early on in this decade, and it is declining rapidly. There were a lot of people who started watching football because it was “cool”, and now those same individuals have lost interest. On top of that true fans are pissed, because of Goodell’s desire to change things every three days. The result is less interest across the board, and yes the outcome will be lower attendence.
    __________________________________
    LOL! What are you talking about? It’s not a dying breed and its not declining just b/c the Bucs can’t sell tickets. The attendce being lowered doesn’t mean people have less interest especially lower attendance in Florida(see JAcksonville and the TB Rays) which is not a big surprise.

  15. Bluefan71 says: Oct 25, 2010 3:30 PM

    The reality of the situation:
    10% Economy – There can be no denying that this is playing a part to a certain degree. Things are tight for a lot of folks all over the country
    90% Fairweather – History has proven that the state of Florida, as a whole, is full of frontrunning sports fans. You need only to look at past attendance history for any professional sports team in the state to see the numbers. At one time, the Bucs had a waiting list of 100,000+. I guess every one of them lost their jobs, as well as the 65k+ that already had their season tickets.
    I’ll never understand the mentality of these people. Be a fan….a REAL fan, or get the hell out of the way. Teams lose games sometimes, and thats no reason to turn your back on them.

  16. Buc Fan South Tampa says: Oct 25, 2010 3:33 PM

    Actually the stadium hasnt been sold out since 2007. That was the 10th year of Raymond James and seson ticket holders dumped their tickets. During the 07-09 seasons, the Glazers bought up the remaining tickets, trying to keep the dream alive. Now they realize they cant be doing that, hence the blackout. I agree with the writer above, this policy is pure stupidity. If a kid in Brandon cant see the Bucs, with today’s technology he can just as easily be a Raiders or a Broncos fan (well, maybe not the Broncos). The point is that keeping the product away means they will find another product.
    BTW, as a season ticket holder who was at the game yesterday, when you looked up in the nosebleeds on the east side of the stadium, the areas on the endzone corners were packed (cheapest) and the ones on the 50 yard line (more expensive) were almost empty….definitely the economy.

  17. David56 says: Oct 25, 2010 3:36 PM

    Several good reasons for the poor attendance. Some have already been written here.
    Perhaps too many pro-sports teams in one state. Florida has, I believe, more people over the age of 60 than anyother state. My own aunt and uncle both in their early 70′s spend the entire winter there.
    The Bucs are a very good team and I’m not even a Bucs fan. Overall they are playing solid football right now, and I am pretty convinced that they will have something to say when the play-off’s finally come around.
    Like “Flordiacock” wrote I’ve seen empty seats in a lot of stadiums this season. If I had to put my finger on one single cause for the low attendance at Tampa Bay games and numerous other teams I’d have to put the blame on the sheer cost of going to a professional football game. Same old story about ticket prices, parking costs, concessions(I read that Jerry Jones is charging $50 for a ten piece cheese pizza at his new stadium), and so on. The United States is hit with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930′s, and with so many people out of work or struggling from paycheck-to-paycheck what do the team owners all do? Why raise the prices on everything, of course. The owners didn’t even cut the fans some slack this season by just keeping last year’s prices in place. Then they have this blackout rule that is almost legalized “black”mail.
    I wish the Bucs well. I wish their fans a better deal from ownership. I wonder if the owners ever look out from their ivory towered sky-boxes and wonder just where are all the people?

  18. TampaBayBucs7-9 says: Oct 25, 2010 3:50 PM

    Am I not allowed to say that the games are played on the internet for free regardless of them being blacked out. get with the 21st century. No one buys Music anymore. no one needs to buy a newpaper anymore. we have internet.

  19. Gruber74 says: Oct 25, 2010 3:55 PM

    It is partly because of the economy but mainly due to the fact that the team is not that exciting. The game was horrible yesterday, expect for the final drive. The Bucs got thumped by both the Steelers and Saints the previous two games and took a last minute miracle to beat a Rams team that won one game last year.
    I was a season ticket holder for 15 years, least season was zero fun at all to sit through, too much money to spend and not have any fun or entertainment at all. Much better things to spend money on.

  20. Rashard Mendenballs says: Oct 25, 2010 4:12 PM

    Tampa is just a bad sports town in general; please reference the Tampa Rays who finished a top of the AL east and only averaged 16k fans for a game this season.
    The Bucs ownership and management has done more than enough to draw fans to games (lower ticket prices, discounts blah blah blah) but it is clear that bucs fans have nothing but excuses for not showing up to games (“It’s too hot” “The bucs are not that great even though they are 4-2″ “The economy” ect )
    Yes the economy is bad in tampa; but the economy is way worst in Detroit and Cleveland….Both teams have sold out all of their home games this season. The tigers averaged 32k per game all the way up til late september. Lastly, the Red Wings are doing great in the attendance department as well, averaging 16k per a game.
    Bottom Line: BUCS ownership needs to evaluate their long term future in Tampa…Los Angeles could use an NFL team.

  21. texasPHINSfan says: Oct 25, 2010 4:22 PM

    The Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer team averages over 36,500 people at every match – and they play twice as many home matches as the Buccaneers do.
    The economy will have a lot to do with it – NFL game tickets are too much money these days. I can have just as much fun for less money elsewhere.

  22. funi says: Oct 25, 2010 4:50 PM

    To BBB82 Who says you MUST have beer and hotdog at the game?? Did you ever hear of tailgating?? $20 to park, I pay nothing! You probably sit in expensive seats also..Ever hear of upper deck?

  23. Uncle Leo says: Oct 25, 2010 5:27 PM

    @Rashard Mendenballs
    Rays averaged 23K per game. Not 16K. You are only about 43% off in your numbers.
    Nice try though.

  24. ArcticEdge says: Oct 25, 2010 6:18 PM

    Why is this a surprise? Tampa is full of old fogies from the midwest who can no longer hack the winter paradise. Unless the Vikings, Packers or Bears are in town they will never sell out. And even if they do their stadium isn’t properly equipped for all the wheel chairs.

  25. southFLAsteel says: Oct 25, 2010 7:31 PM

    I tried to post a comment stating that now I guess we would start hearing you rumor monger about the Buccaneers moving to LA, and that the Jags must be safe for now. It contained no vulgarity, did not slam or personally attack anyone, and was not in any way as derisive as most of the slime posted on this hate site. And you censored it. What is this, 1930′s Germany, with the part of dumbass Hitler played by Florio??? Again, is there any sort of criteria that you could intelligently spell out as to what can and what can not be posted here?

  26. 8ball says: Oct 25, 2010 7:37 PM

    .
    For several years the product that the Bucs put on the field was not very exciting. Remember when that 3-0 first quarter deficit was considered insurmountable ?
    .

  27. JagMania65 says: Oct 25, 2010 7:50 PM

    Actually MoneyMike, there are 8 pro teams in Florida – just about right for the 3rd most populous state in the US (18.5M from the 2010 census). California is the most populous with almost 37M people. But nobody says that California’s 13 pro team are too many – if fact everybody is saying that they need another…

  28. Okey says: Oct 25, 2010 8:15 PM

    Bucs 4-2
    4wins
    Browns…….2-5
    Panthers….1-5
    Bengals……2-4
    Rams………3-4
    And struggled to pull off those wins!
    2 losses
    Steelers….5-1
    Saints…….4-2
    Total and complete Beat downs……38-13 and 31-6….. When playing a team of any competative caliber (winning records) the Bucs get IMBARRASSED! So let’s not continue to ignor the FACTS and blindly just “label” this team as a good team and worthy of the money to be dished out in order to see this team under perform.
    If this team is anything close to what people want to believe then they should score more and stop the opponent on a consistant basis! Until then, many people’s mind are already made up about this team and have NO Faith in them!

  29. nicalooch76 says: Oct 25, 2010 9:55 PM

    Okey you lose all credibility when you neglect to utilize your friendly neighborhood spell check button.

  30. waterboy says: Oct 25, 2010 10:05 PM

    Okey who did the 2-5 Browns get that 2nd victory against this weekend? Wasn’t it those 4-2 Saints?
    BTW the 2-5 Browns has no problem filling their stands either. The problem is the Bucs still haven’t established a real fan base they need to get out of FL.

  31. MEGAMORE says: Oct 27, 2010 10:00 AM

    There are many reasons why the attendance is low. High tickets prices in an area experiencing 12-14% unemployment rate. I see the arguments about this….blah blah blah our team sells out in Detroit or in whatever other city you want to mention. Well, I say, look at the population of your city, drop 14% of them and I am sure that your population still exceeds that of Hillsborough County. If Tampa, or any other sorts city, had the populations of the bigger cities, the games would be sold out.
    Another major factor to poor attendance to Tampa/Florida teams having poor attendance is all of the northerners moving here. Florida’s population increase during the last 20+ years is not because the residents are a bunch of rabbits and popping kids out left and right. The new residents do not move here and change who their team is because they moved here. teams like the Steelers, Bears, Packer, etc… who have been around for generations have a very strong fan base. had I grown up in Chicago with a dad sporting a beer belly larger than the keg he is drinking from screaming “Da Bears!” every Sunday, I might be a bears fan.
    Lack of faith is one additional item that is preventing people from going to the games. Negative media, owners that appear to have no involvement (besides cashing checks), and not much results from a young team have peopel deciding that they would rather stay home then spend the 200.00+ for attending a game that most anticipate that they will lose. When I told my 80 year old grandmother I went to the Bucs game, she asked, “Who did they lose to this week?” I don’t think she can spell football at this point and she knows that the team has been horrible the last few years.
    After a winning season and a few better years in a better economy, the Bucs games will be sold out again and there will be another waiting list to get tickets. Until that time, us true fans must attend the games that we are able to or watch them via free feeds from the Internet.
    (sorry if any typos or errors)

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