Bucs will try 85 percent blackout rule again

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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.

32 responses to “Bucs will try 85 percent blackout rule again

  1. A large portion of the population on the Florida Gulf Coast are retirees/transplants from northeastern/midwestern cities who may very well be NFL fans, just not Tampa Bay Bucs fans. The same argument applies to the Rays and Lightning attendance problems. The Tampa Bay market just isn’t Major League in terms of fan support for the local teams.

  2. I like the idea the Jags are considering of showing NFL Red Zone in the stadiums. For the price of a decent seat at Ray Jay I can have a feast at my house with craft beer, and keep an eye on other games around the league. Also, blackouts only effect Grandmas & children who don’t know how to find online streams. Way to go Glaziers!

  3. Glad the Bucs are taking the most fan-friendly position possible. Let’s not have them take a harder line until they at least make the playoffs.

  4. The Saints should help fill that stadium up…. That’s what having REAL talent does..

  5. Billionaires – give us hundreds of millions of dollars we need new stadiums!!!!

    But sorry, the people paying for the stadium don’t get to watch the games unless the saps also buy up all the overpriced tickets

    No public money for nfl stadiums!

  6. When your fan base totals less than a thousand, its time to move them to London. The Bucs are considered stepchildren to the Glaziers when compared to their favorite team in England.

    Yet the simpletons down in Tampa just dont know any better. Bless their foolish hearts

  7. It’s real simple. Win and the fans will come. Yes, the transplants hurt attendance, but not as much as inconsistent play. The last 5 seasons have been 9-7, 3-13, 10-6, 4-12, and 7-9. People wanna see a winner. Start off strong and make the playoffs, the attendance woes will be a thing of the past.

  8. The jaguars were blacked out 9 times in 2009, not since….(tarps bring Everbank to capacity that is still larger than Raymond James).The Bucs have been blacked out 19 times in recent years. Now, a team that is vastly improved is still considering the 85% option….yet they get a pass with all the LA/London talk.

  9. > So sad. New ownership yet?

    Why is this sad? They’re going out of their way to get fans in the seats. There aren’t many franchises out there who will freeze ticket prices for five years.

    It’s a small market- shouldn’t surprise anyone that teams like Tampa Bay have a hard time selling out.

  10. The Bucs have one of the very best stadium deals with the local county, the county basically pays for all stadium maintenance and upgrades. That’s why the Bucs are going nowhere, good luck finding a better deal than that. The Jags don’t have such a cushy deal, hence why they are fair game.

    Oh yeah, the Bucs are the only team in Florida to win a Super Bowl in the last 40 years, so there is that. At least we’re marginally succesful.

  11. In most businesses I have been in an increase in sales will cover a multitude of sins. In the Bucs case, winning more games should do the same. GO BUCS

  12. The problem in tampa and miami is going to a game in aug, sept, and most of oct is like sitting in hells waiting room. It is so hot. I used to live down there and you get a much better experience at an air conditioned bar, or your home that you don’t want to go to a game. if they would have been smart building those stadiums they would have put a retractable roof on.

  13. Iknoweverything says
    “When your fan base totals less than a thousand, its time to move them to London.”

    Tampa once had a season ticket waiting list of over 100,000. We have plenty of fans. The problem is economics.

    Tampa is a sports town. Even the transplants attend games. The Lightning sell out on a regular basis. The Rays don’t, but that’s baseball.

    Tampa came less than 4,000 seats from sellouts in recent years. Fans will come more now that they’ve seen a season of change.

    Bare in mind, foor several years the games just were not fun to watch. Last year was different. They may have lost 3 too many games, but two were due to bad calls on the refs.

    The Bucs could have been 9-7 or 10-6 if not for those bad calls and the secondary, which has now been fixed.

  14. cheapglazers,

    Pride like we had with the uber-cheap Culverhouses and 0 playoff appearances from 1983-1996?

  15. Just bought my tickets for opening day. Can’t wait to get back down to Tampa and see that new and improved defense and watch Doug Martin run behind that mamoth offensive line! Should be a great game!

  16. As a former season ticket holder of the bucs, I think I should point out that they raised ticket prices in the 7 years I had tickets from an affordable $1100 year for 2 seats to almost $2000 by the time I dropped them in 2008. A lot of former ticket holders have long memories. They’ve tried several times to get me back since, and I’ve been tempted, but that is some serious ill will to choke down.

  17. The Bucs are going to Dominate the NFC this year! When they do the seats will sell out. Also, what NFL player would not want to play in Tampa?? It is by far one of the best places to live, unlike : New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte…basically everywhere else but Tampa.

  18. thats what you get from your fanbase when you hire raheem morris as your headcoach. it hurts your own pocket for years. but the glazers got it now. dont be cheap again!

  19. .


    You are exactly correct regarding the extreme Florida heat during early season day games. Your alternative is an air conditioned facility with Sunday ticket.


  20. Single game tickets don’t go on sale until tomorrow. This story should run AFTER the tickets go on sale to the general public. Until then these numbers are based solely on season tickets and home opener which went on sale a couple weeks ago.

    I have a feeling more people will attend the games including myself!

    Go Bucs!

  21. I’m convinced that Tampa Bay won’t have a football team for much longer into the future. I still think the Dolphins are going to move and Tampa Bay would be the logical fit to move to Miami. It’s going to be another switcheroo like the Browns/Ravens.

  22. —The Bucs have one of the very best stadium deals with the local county, the county basically pays for all stadium maintenance and upgrades. That’s why the Bucs are going nowhere, good luck finding a better deal than that. —

    Yeah I know, all us foreclosed taxpayers paid for 100% of the stadium for the Billionaire Glazers. Now can they help save our homes? No! They just want more money from us for upgrades now!

  23. *** Here is where the Bucs dont get it. They keep saying things like “cut ticket prices”. They ONLY cut ticket prices on SEASON tickets (very conservative “cuts”). All single game tickets are the same or higher. They forget that in 1997 and 1998 they were selling out single game tickets before the season even started. 1999 is when they were selling out with season ticket packages that cost less than 1/2 what they are now.

    Go back to lower SINGLE game prices and win some games. The rest will take care of itself.

    I think after the last 6-8 years the Bucs/Glazers are finally showing the fans they are re-committed.

    NFL, stop the insanity of full price pre-season games!

  24. It’s interesting how a positive development that the Bucs are actually back to the glory days (and yes, there were glory days for the Bucs from 1997-2007 the team made the playoffs 7 out of 10 yrs, a feat I might add that has yet to be duplicated by Atlanta, New Orleans or Carolina).

    During this time, the Bucs had one of the longest sellout streaks in the league, a 100,000 person waiting list and the Glazers raised ticket prices every single year.

    There’s a solid chance that no games will be blacked out this year – testament that the new regime and the fact that after six years of doing nothing the Glazers have finally put money back into the team instead of the soccer team across the pond are registering with the frustrated fans who tapped out during the RAH error.

    As others have pointed out, the Glazers have one of the best leases in the NFL and are making money hand-over-fist with this franchise. There is absolutely no thought or need for this franchise to be relocated.

  25. A couple quick examples of corporate greed taking advantage of consumers:

    Verizon: Remove unlimited data when upgrading an I-phone (Couldn’t sell IPhones because no-one wanted to upgrade and loose unlimited – Now owes Apple Billions)

    Bank of America: Charge $5 a month to use their debit card (lost tons of consumers and rescinded)

    NFL: Force season ticket holders to buy the preseason games and charge them the price of admission for a regular season game (We watch on TV and go to a game or two)

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