The Buccaneers say they’re selling tickets at a faster rate than before, but they’re still not envisioning sellouts.
According to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, the Bucs are again taking the league up on an offer to set the blackout limit at 85 percent of non-premium tickets. Last year, the Bucs, Dolphins and Raiders took advantage of that rule, but it didn’t work that often for the Bucs, who have been blacked out 19 times in the last three seasons.
“We’re one of the few teams that took full advantage of the league’s lower manifest last year and we’re doing it again,” Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford said. “That shows our commitment to the community that we will do everything we can within our power.”
The Bucs held ticket prices steady for the fifth straight year, and they actually cut the prices of 35 percent of their seats.
They won’t start selling individual game tickets until Wednesday, but Ford said sales are 60 percent above the same point last year.
“Our [season ticket] renewal rate is equal to the glory years, back in the day, so it’s not like we’re digging out of a hole,” Ford said. “It helps we’ve got the best home schedule. Two prime-time games, one on a Monday night against Miami when Warren Sapp goes into our Ring of Honor, and a Thursday night game against a division rival [Carolina]. . . .
“Our No. 1 goal is tied to selling out that New Orleans game because that’s where it starts. That’s why we put it on sale early. We know we’re in the entertainment business. People have a choice. It’s not a necessity. So we want to make our game-day experience compelling.”
For whatever reason, Bucs fans haven’t been compelled to attend in recent years, even when the team was playing well.