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Bucs’ blackout streak continues through the preseason

stadium Getty Images

Last year, every home game played by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was blacked out.  The prior year, most if not all of the home games would have been blacked out, but for the willingness of ownership to pay the 34-percent visiting team share for the unsold non-premium tickets.

This year, the team’s two preseason home games also will be blacked out.

But instead of having the mayor send an e-mail suggesting to folks in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area that it’s their duty to buy tickets, the Bucs are trying to entice more sales with more friendly pricing plans.

“Our organization has spent a lot of time listening to our fans at this time when our team is thriving and our economy is not,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in January.  “As a result, we are now offering several pricing changes in response to our community’s needs.”

The plans include a 31-percent reduction for some season ticket packages, and youth tickets priced as low as $17.50.  Other changes include reduced parking rates.

The challenge for every team that struggles to lift the local blackout by selling all non-premium tickets — and that list currently includes the Bucs, Raiders, Chargers, Jaguars, Cardinals, and possibly the Rams — is to determine prices that, given the dynamics of each market, will get the tickets sold.  In many cities, the teams refuse to be as flexible as necessary to sell all tickets, perhaps they fear that dropping prices during a bad economic cycle will make it harder to increase the prices to previous levels once the economy improves.

Either way, each team should be able to sell every ticket to every game, if the team truly wants to do it.  While some of our friends in Jacksonville took exception to our criticism of the latest effort to sell tickets via the application of civic guilt, wouldn’t it make more sense for owner Wayne Weaver to acknowledge the possibility that he’s asking too much for the privilege to attend a game, and thus to slash prices?

Even though Weaver consistently denies any intention to sell and/or move the team, his failure to take steps to ensure that the stadium consistently will be sold out allows the whisper and rumors to continue.  At some point, the locals will grow weary of worrying about the team leaving, and they’ll just want them to get it over with and go.

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49 Responses to “Bucs’ blackout streak continues through the preseason”
  1. orakpownd says: Aug 17, 2011 9:22 AM

    Thats too bad…they are promising.

  2. ji536994 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:22 AM

    Really?

    Its an article about the buc’s inability to sell tickets, the fact that they blacked out 8/8 home games last year……

    and it’s still turned into bashing Jacksonville (zero blackouts last year, and there will be none this season)

    stay classy pft

  3. drstrangelust says: Aug 17, 2011 9:22 AM

    Who the hell would want to go sit and watch a game for 3 hours in 100 deg w/ 80% humidity? I wouldn’t go to the crappy Bucs games either!

  4. bucwild05 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:25 AM

    I wish I lived in Tampa. I would be at every home game, without hesitation. They will need the Fans in the stadium this year. Last year when they played the Steelers in Tampa, there were more Black and Gold in the stands than Pewter… It was rather embarassing!

  5. cakemixa says: Aug 17, 2011 9:25 AM

    Not sure why Tampa is never in the conversation when talking about relocating teams (always Jags/Vikings lately, it seems)… but it appears that they should also be considered – if their fans are unwilling to buy tickets for a playoff-contending team.

  6. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Aug 17, 2011 9:25 AM

    It’s too bad that fans in other cities would refuse to buy tickets. If they did, maybe tickets for all games would be reduced so that a typical family can afford to go. Ah, who am I kidding, that would just mean more profits for season ticket holders who own the tickets with the sole intent on reselling them via StubHub.

  7. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Aug 17, 2011 9:29 AM

    This franchise has a lot to look forward to on the horizon, lot of great young players. Things will work out.

  8. wizahdry says: Aug 17, 2011 9:30 AM

    The greedy NFL needs to stop blacking out preseason games. They need to stop blacking out games in general. It is archaic and counter-productive in a modern world where most of the revenue comes from tv/advertising. At least I know a few home games won’t blackout since one is in London and two will be in prime time.

  9. achap39 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:33 AM

    11.1% unemployment in Tampa metro, 10.4% in Orlando, 10.6% statewide. Nah, I’m sure that has NOTHING to do with the fact that they can’t sell season tickets.

  10. FinFan68 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:35 AM

    Tampa is a “transplant city” where many people move to later in life. The NFL fans already support a different team and many won’t switch allegiance when they move. There still should be a significant fanbase due to the population of the surrounding area. Another factor is it is HOT at RJS. Stifling hot with unbearable humidity. RJS is a fine stadium but a retractable roof would have been a wise investment. If they truly want to get more ticket sales, get rid of the ridiculous parking fees. $35 to park in a grass field 1/2 a mile from the stadium is assinine.

  11. regisphilbin says: Aug 17, 2011 9:36 AM

    So TB is at 12 consecutive games (22 if not for the team buying) and you continue to take shots at Jax? FYI – we didn’t have a blackout last year!!

  12. heyguru1969 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:38 AM

    I used to live in the Tampa Bay area, and the lack of support isn’t a football issue, it’s an apathy issue in the general population. Last year they had a Major League Baseball team poised to make a run at the World Series, and couldn’t be bothered showing up to support them. Of course there are great fans there too, but when it comes to numbers, sorry Tampa — your true personality is showing.

  13. kiltherl says: Aug 17, 2011 9:38 AM

    I completely agree how did this turn into a Jacksonville bashing?……the global economy is down must have something to do with jaguar ticket sales

  14. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 17, 2011 9:55 AM

    Going to a football game is quite an investment for anyone earning a middle class income. All the teams seem to point out the fact that there are affordable tickets to the games, but who wants to sit where you can barely see a play? Any decent seats are going to be $70.00 and up. Add parking and a soda and hot dog, and you’re up around $250.00 for two people.
    As a Raider fan, I got to the point that I just couldn’t justify it. Too much money to spend on the privilege of going to the game. When you take into account the $30.00 to park in a mud lot a mile away, walking in through a parking lot that looks like Fallujah, crowds of drunk clowns and a stadium with employees that seem more like prison guards, it’s easy to justify not going.

    They always sell about 23,000 season tickets. The place holds around 49,000, I think. While there’s definitely enough interest to potentially sell out every game, the conditions make it impossible for many to think it’s worth the money.

  15. zoxitic says: Aug 17, 2011 10:00 AM

    “and that list currently includes the Bucs, Raiders, Chargers, Jaguars, Cardinals, and possibly the Rams”

    You forgot the Chiefs and Bengals.

  16. shackdelrio says: Aug 17, 2011 10:01 AM

    “Even though Weaver consistently denies any intention to sell and/or move the team, his failure to take steps to ensure that the stadium consistently will be sold out allows the whisper and rumors to continue. At some point, the locals will grow weary of worrying about the team leaving, and they’ll just want them to get it over with and go.”

    So Weaver has failed to take steps to ensure the stadium consistently will be sold out? Do you honestly believe that? If you do, you are either uniformed or just refuse to acknowledge the truth. Try to do a little research. Weaver and the Jaguars have probably done more to try and sell tickets than any owner in the NFL. There was a reason there were no blackouts in Jacksonville and the Bucs are on a double digit blackout streak.

  17. 3octaveFart says: Aug 17, 2011 10:04 AM

    bucwild05 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:25 AM

    “Last year when they played the Steelers in Tampa, there were more Black and Gold in the stands than Pewter… It was rather embarassing!”

    That happens everywhere the Steelers play.

  18. dansnydersux says: Aug 17, 2011 10:10 AM

    nomoreseasontix says:
    Aug 17, 2011 9:55 AM
    Going to a football game is quite an investment for anyone earning a middle class income. All the teams seem to point out the fact that there are affordable tickets to the games, but who wants to sit where you can barely see a play? Any decent seats are going to be $70.00 and up. Add parking and a soda and hot dog, and you’re up around $250.00 for two people.
    As a Raider fan, I got to the point that I just couldn’t justify it. Too much money to spend on the privilege of going to the game. When you take into account the $30.00 to park in a mud lot a mile away, walking in through a parking lot that looks like Fallujah, crowds of drunk clowns and a stadium with employees that seem more like prison guards, it’s easy to justify not going.

    They always sell about 23,000 season tickets. The place holds around 49,000, I think. While there’s definitely enough interest to potentially sell out every game, the conditions make it impossible for many to think it’s worth the money.

    ———————————————-

    Ladies and gentlemen, your National Football League! I’m right there with you!

  19. savannahrose44 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:19 AM

    This is sad when you consider Seattle sells out even when they are having a HORRIBLE season. TB must have a crumby fan base.

  20. seneca1ss says: Aug 17, 2011 10:19 AM

    Its on tape delay 2hrs later (big deal)

  21. zoxitic says: Aug 17, 2011 10:20 AM

    Owners:

    When you saved all that money on the rookie wage scale you, you need to pass on some of that savings to the fans. All this lockout crap ended up great for the owners, players, retired players, TV stations, advertisers.

    WHAT ABOUT THE FANS?????

  22. adam84a says: Aug 17, 2011 10:20 AM

    I’ll be there in the nosebleeds, which I got on stubhub for $20 each!

  23. pir8life says: Aug 17, 2011 10:24 AM

    I hate when the Bucs put out misleading information… try to buy a $17 or even $35 ticket. These are for one nosebleed corner section, at season ticket rates. There are several games I am going to (cant do them all) and the typical price is $90+. Which I am sure is less than some cities, but the Glazers should stop making their fans look like asses. They have been playing games with the ticket prices the last 5 years. Just like their 100,000 season ticket waiting list.

    Here is a concept Glazers, it is about supply and demand, you have raised the prices and the supply has gone up… Lower some prices and get some butts in the seats.

    NFL, stop charging full price for preseason!!!!!!

  24. cdsaints says: Aug 17, 2011 10:31 AM

    In the immortal words of Nelson from the Simpsons:

    HA-HA!

  25. stonecld33 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:35 AM

    Did you ever hear of a retractable dome to escape sever heat and rain? Then maybe you might sell out

  26. ticalcaldwell says: Aug 17, 2011 10:40 AM

    As a Bengals fan I feel Tampa’s pain. We are headed the same route, especially after last weeks performance…

  27. bradentonbuc says: Aug 17, 2011 10:43 AM

    70% of the Tampa population are transplants from other areas where, obviously, they don’t want to live. JAX, Miami and TB will always have that problem with their sports teams, (something funny going on in Miami, it is never full). The Bucs were sold out, with a waiting list, for 10 years until the spiral after our Superbowl win. They will come back to a winner, but the Glazers have as much to do with this as the economy or anything else.

  28. trilbilly says: Aug 17, 2011 10:48 AM

    This is strictly an economic issue and I’ll tell you why.

    I work in the construction industry. 12 years ago when I started out in this job I was always being offered tickets for Football, Baseball and Hockey games from suppliers we did business with. None of them do that anymore. They can’t afford it. I’m talking about the local reps of nationally known household name companies. Big Boys. If they can’t afford season tickets how can they expect the average fan to pay for them.?

    And things aren’t any better this year than they were last year. If someone offered me free tickets I would have to turn them down because I couldn’t afford the gas to drive to a game. That is how bad the economy is in this state.

  29. gadzod says: Aug 17, 2011 10:50 AM

    It’s absolutely SICKENING to read this stuff about a team that is actually very good, not being able to sell out their games. In the meantime, my Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs in 11 years and still manage to avoid blackouts, and WE are the team that people are swirling rumors about moving. Makes me sick to my stomach.

  30. xxxviichamps says: Aug 17, 2011 11:08 AM

    Firstly, I would like to silence the people who claim that you cant get a cheap ticket to a decent seat. I went to 6 home games last season, bought a $35 ticket to each game for a upper deck corner seat, and sat between the 35’s on the upper deck for every game. Take advantage of the empty stadium people! And dont forget that 10,000 people dont even sit in their damn seats in the upper deck because theyd rather go down on the party deck near the ship. The good seats are there for the taking…Take them while they are.

    Parking is expensive next to the stadium. I paid $25 for parking once last season. Every other game I paid either $5 to park in somebodys yard 10 minutes away…or parked 10 minutes down Dale Mabry at a business for free…Wal-Mart parking lot at Spruce and Dale Mabry anyone? And there are free tailgate parties such as the one provided by WhatTheBuc? that you can attend if youre looking for that sort of thing. Just leave them a tip.

    In the beginning of the season…the heat does suck…whatever if youre a real fan, youll rough it for a few games…if you arent, we dont want you there anyway. Mid to late season games are always beautiful weather.

    The Economy in Tampa is bad. The biggest effect this is having however is not on the middle-class family’s ability to buy tickets, it is the lack of the big businesses buying tickets to give out to clients and employees…that was the kind of thing that sold out Ray Jay in the hey-days…Bucs games were the hip thing to do…hopefully that will be true again in the near future.

    Lastly, Tampa is a transplant city. Most 40 and older folks are already fans of their home teams. We do have a very good and very dedicated fan base here in the Tampa, the problem is that it isnt big enough yet…its still growing. I would bet that we have one of the strongest young fanbases in the country however. If you’ve ever attended a Bucs, Rays, or Lightning game in Tampa in the past 5 years or so, you will probably notice that 75% of the fans are “younger” people.

  31. dolphinsrule65 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:12 AM

    “bradentonbuc says:
    Aug 17, 2011 10:43 AM
    70% of the Tampa population are transplants from other areas where, obviously, they don’t want to live. JAX, Miami and TB will always have that problem with their sports teams, (something funny going on in Miami, it is never full.”
    Dude why do you always bring up Miami? First it has 11 str8 years of sell outs and second it holds over 10,000 more seats then RJS does. It is way,way hotter in Miami then in Tampa. I know I lived in Miami for 20 years before I moved to Tampa in 2007. There are some empty seats in the upper corners,but being that Ross is smart he buys them up and donates them, it is called being smart with your product and showcasing them on TV and yes all preseason games are sold out also. If the Glazers were smart or not broke, they would buy the leftovers up and show case the team and let people see that they have improved and are improving. See you on the 27th,by the way dont be too mad that there will be more Miami fans then Bucs fans, just like 2 years ago preseason game! The real sad part is you have a better team by far…but we at least support ours.

  32. nineroutsider says: Aug 17, 2011 11:45 AM

    The Bucs should be selling out every game this year. What an exciting and talented young team they have. I wish I could swap them for the 49ers…our team has been bad for a decade and we haven’t had one blackout yet…even in the preseason.

    How broke they must be down in Tampa…

  33. radrntn says: Aug 17, 2011 11:50 AM

    does not really matter, pay per view is on the radar for the league….

  34. emma333 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:55 AM

    Wow! An article about the Bucs situation turns to a complete bashing of the Jaguars.
    Facts:
    1. Jacksonville had no blackouts last year.
    2. Everbank Field is slightly larger than Raymond James EVEN WITH THE TARPS.
    3. The Jaguars have lowered ticket prices, given special promotions to encourage sales.
    4. Last year the former mayor, Tony Boselli and Team Teal had great success avoiding blackouts by asking fans to buy tickets.
    5. This year the new mayor and Wayne Weaver have asked fans to buy tickets—-reminding us that blackouts will give ammunition to the national media to start bashing us again…..They are simply “asking for the order” Marketing 101.
    6. National media bashes us anyway.
    7. If Tampa practically gives tickets away (which I don’t believe they are) the current fans will revolt and not renew.

  35. dogsweat1 says: Aug 17, 2011 12:08 PM

    Los Angeles Buccaneers.

    Sounds good!

  36. bucwild05 says: Aug 17, 2011 12:10 PM

    Okay, I am a DIE HARD Bucs fan. I grew up in the Tampa area. I have watched every snap they have taken for the last 10 years (thank you DirecTV)

    I live in Nashville currently, and they have very dedicated fans as well.

    As for the “fans” that complain that its too hot to go….. Are you kidding me?????? How do you think the players are feeling, trying to win a game for you? How do you think the fans like the negative temps in Green Bay? You can’t handle 3 hours in the heat??? Really? Plain out pathetic!

    I agree, the owners could do more to sell out the games, there is no question in that. As for the Bucs relocating, you’re dilusional. They have a state-of-the-art stadium, they are under contract in a lease. They are staying put.

    The Economy is bad there, no question. I don’t know if it has to do with why they are not selling out, because Tampa area still has millions working, so I ain’t buying it. Newsflash: the economy is bad Everywhere…. Try Detroit!

  37. pigskinswag says: Aug 17, 2011 12:33 PM

    Although as a Saints fan it disgusts me to the depths of my soul to say this, I must say it: The Buccaneers are a good football team. I don’t understand why people wouldnt want to watch them.

  38. mightyleemoon says: Aug 17, 2011 1:16 PM

    Wow. I didn’t realize the people in Jacksonville were so fragile and easy to offend.

  39. fmwarner says: Aug 17, 2011 1:40 PM

    shackdelrio says: Aug 17, 2011 10:01 AM

    Weaver and the Jaguars have probably done more to try and sell tickets than any owner in the NFL. There was a reason there were no blackouts in Jacksonville and the Bucs are on a double digit blackout streak.
    ====================================

    Wait, so Weaver has done more than any owner to try and sell tickets and the mayor STILL has to send out an email and guilt people into buying tickets? You just made PFT’s point for them.

    Yeah, last year they somehow managed to cobble together enough ticket sales to avoid blackouts. But it looks like despite all their efforts, they’re going to be getting the tarps out again. If people consistently don’t want to go, and the team and city have to make a big rallying cry every year to try to get some tickets sold, what is really the point of having a team? Personally, I think it’s that Jacksonville wants to be known as a major city, and an NFL team confers that honor on them no matter how apathetic people are about it.

  40. petedutcher says: Aug 17, 2011 2:20 PM

    pigskinswag says:
    Aug 17, 2011 12:33 PM
    Although as a Saints fan it disgusts me to the depths of my soul to say this, I must say it: The Buccaneers are a good football team. I don’t understand why people wouldnt want to watch them.

    Bucs Fan here…I’ll let you in on a little secret. Out of the other teams in our division I respect the Saints most. I downright hate the Falcons, and the Panthers are idiots.

    But, just like the Bucs, the Saints struggled to get where they are. It’s like a brotherhood between us. The fact that you QB helps our QB in the off season really earns respect. Very classy.

    As to the blackouts
    I live over 50 miles from Tampa. We struggle to pay the bills. I can’t even pay auto insurance on our vehicle so it’s parked outside waiting till we can.

    My business shut down because of no clientelle (designer). My wife has been out of work for three years…she had time to go to school and learn a new trade, but even that is showing no results.

    Businesses are ONLY looking for temps…a week every few months at best. We would move to another state (Vermont for example) where employment is better, but we can’t even afford the move.

    And we are not the only people going through this. There are many, many families getting free food from churches because even food stamps have been cut back by the new governor.

    People are willing to work…the work just isn’t there. I have a special needs child and thankfully he has medical…otherwise we would be even worse off. I haven’t had medical in years and I am undiagnosed disabled.

    Transplants have nothing to do with the lack of ticket sales. The heat has nothing to do with it. And people are not hesitant to buy the tickets because they aren’t sure the team is good. We KNOW it’s good.

    But when your baby need diapers or formula, when parents go without eating just so the children can have enough to eat, when you have to hand wash cloths and drape them all over your house to dry because you cannot afford to take them to a laundrymat, and when each month you have to choose between gas to use your stove or electric to have lights…

    …buying tickets just is not an option. We fans are dedicated to the team. But you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. People just can’t buy the tickets.

    And the option of moving hte team won’t ever happen. The Bucs are locket into Tampa for the next decade and a half. That’s why they are not mentioned.

  41. wethog66 says: Aug 17, 2011 3:28 PM

    If not the worst sports town in this country, then Tampa is in the top 5. What a joke.

  42. keeponhating says: Aug 17, 2011 6:50 PM

    maybe if it didnt cost 150-500 per ticket for a DECENT seat none of these teams would be blacked out

  43. nicalooch says: Aug 17, 2011 7:28 PM

    if you’re spending more than $5 to watch a preseason football game, you’re either rich or stupid. The bucs had a free practice at the stadium a couple weeks ago, you’re basically watching the same thing.

  44. petedutcher says: Aug 17, 2011 8:31 PM

    wethog66 says:
    Aug 17, 2011 3:28 PM
    If not the worst sports town in this country, then Tampa is in the top 5. What a joke.

    And you are a dellusional idiot. The true joke is you, buttwipe.

  45. bucforever says: Aug 17, 2011 8:50 PM

    Love my Bucs . Love football. Love a roof over my family’s head. Love food on the table. Not working regular. Can not afford it all. Something must go. Let’s see …..
    where would you start?

  46. shooteyshoots says: Aug 17, 2011 9:41 PM

    The thing that people don’t understand about Tampa is that 90% of the people that live here are from other cities. They stay loyal to those teams (which is idiotic). Thats why Tampa teams never get any support.

    Another factor is we won 3 games in ’09. in ’10 all our home games weren’t televised. I don’t think people here realize what a great team they have here because they can’t watch them on TV,

    Also keep in mind when its 30 degrees and miserable in the winter in other cities its still 80 here, theres stuff to do. And its almost unbearable to sit through a 1pm game until weather cools in December.

  47. bigvinnyinjax says: Aug 18, 2011 9:59 AM

    With the exception of the Chargers every team on that list is in a rebuilding mode at best. Hard to throw down a couple hundred bucks for rebuilding. Not sure what’s going on in SD, though.

  48. jacksonvilledave says: Aug 18, 2011 12:30 PM

    @fmwarner the seats have been tarped for a few years now, so no need to “get the tarps out again”.

    There will be no blackouts this year here in Jax.
    PFT just has their panties in a wad because they got theirself in a twitter war with the Jags. lol. One thing people fail to realize is Jax is a navy town. They ship in, and out, and most support other teams. UGH… whats the use, I could care less what people think of my hometown.

  49. recon163 says: Aug 20, 2011 10:03 AM

    @ jacksonvilledave:

    “There will be no blackouts this year here in Jax.”

    Maybe, but it doesn’t look promising right now does it?

    “One thing people fail to realize is Jax is a navy town. They ship in, and out, and most support other teams.”

    So are you saying that without the Navy, JVille cannot support the Jags?

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