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September 2, 2011 @ 10:38 am
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Bucs' 2011 Season Opener Against Lions To Be Blacked Out

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay's string of blackouts from local TV will continue as PewterReport.com has learned that the Bucs' 2011 season opener against the Lions will likely not sell out by next Thursday, which is the NFL deadline to lift blackouts. The Bucs have between 10,000-15,000 unsold tickets. Raymond James Stadium was officially sold out from 1998-2008.

PewterReport.com is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2011 season opener against Detroit will be blacked out. The number of tickets sold for the Bucs vs. Lions game on Sunday, September 11 is close to 50,000 and it is nearly impossible to expect that the team will sell 15,000 more seats by Thursday to meet the NFL-mandated 72 hours prior to kickoff time frame to lift blackouts in the local television market of home teams.

In fact, none of the 2011 home games have been announced by the team as sold out, but PewterReport.com has learned that the best chances of any home sellouts would occur for the Indianapolis Colts game on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 3 and the December 17 game against Dallas on NFL Network’s Saturday Night Football. Ticket sales for those games are outpacing the sales for the season opener, and there is a chance those contests may sell out and have the local TV blackout lifted if the team has a hot start because those contests are later in the season.

Also, with the Colts and Cowboys being more prominent and popular teams nationally, there is a greater likelihood that there would be a higher than average number of Indianapolis and Dallas fans at Raymond James Stadium than for some of the other Bucs’ opponents, such as Detroit.

Tampa Bay’s home game against New Orleans on October 16 stands the third-best chance of selling out as ticket sales for that game have also outpaced those for the season opener.

The Bucs have been having attendance troubles since the 2008 and ‘09 seasons when the team had to step in and buy back unsold tickets to the games that were not sold out in those respective seasons. Tampa Bay faded down the stretch and just missed the playoffs in ’08, which dampened fan enthusiasm right as the country's economy entered a recession and unemployment rose. Former head coach Jon Gruden was fired as a result and replaced with Raheem Morris on January 16, 2009.

In ’09, during Morris’ first season as head coach, the team suffered through a 3-13 season, which did not help generate fan interest and ticket sales. All 10 of Tampa Bay’s home games, including two preseason contests, last season were blacked out from local TV as the season ticket base had eroded to the point where the Bucs were no longer willing to pick up the tab for the tens of thousands of empty seats.

Tampa Bay was the only team in the NFL in 2010 that had every home game blacked out despite never having a losing record during the season and finishing the campaign with a surprising 10-6 record. While season ticket sales have reportedly been helped by the success of the 10-6 mark from a year ago, along with the emergence of several young, exciting star players, such as quarterback Josh Freeman, wide receiver Mike Williams, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the Bucs’ first two preseason games of the 2011 season were blacked out and there is a chance that Tampa Bay fans may have to endure another season where every game is blacked out from local television. The 132-day NFL lockout during the offseason certainly didn't help ticket sales, either.

The team has reduced ticket prices this year in an effort to generate more sales, and has also given stadium concession discounts and affordable payment plan options to Tampa Bay fans to try to increase its season ticket holder base.

Bucs fans in the Tampa Bay area are guaranteed to see at least one home game on television this year as the team’s home encounter with the Chicago Bears was selected by the NFL to be the league’s International Series game in London. As a result, the Bucs will have just seven regular season games at Raymond James Stadium in 2011. All road games are televised locally.

Last modified on Friday, 02 September 2011 16:01

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  • avatar

    I'm calling BS on needing to be a season ticket holder to get $35 tickets. I'm looking at 8 tickets for the home opener right now in my living room that I got for $35 each (well $40 with tax and shipping). Just go to Stubhub.com and there's plenty of seats available. As for being in the nosebloods and dealing with heat...man up like the beer commercials say. If you've been living in Florida long enough to be a Bucs fan you should know how to deal with the heat by now. We've got the Detriot Lions coming to town on the opening day and based on what I saw when they played New England they're mad as hell and looking for some respect. We need fans in the stadium making some noise and letting them know they ain't gonna find it in Week 1. Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    pinkstob...I like the way you think regarding "man up". Exactly! You are partially right I think in the $35. Read my post below yours, and you'll find that there are two sections normally for the $35 tix, and that includes ALL fees. But those sold out early and the Glazers had them adjut the prices on tix in two other sections down to $35 from $71. Those sold quickly also. So you can by individual game tix for $35, but the ones you bought on stubhub..com are re-sales. You still got a good deal I think. If you got to nfl.com, then go through the maze for "tickets", and select "bucs", you can still get $35 tix for several of the other games directly from the bucs (through ticketmaster). I got my four seaon tix...definitely worth looking into. It's nice to have the parking pass, cards, and everything all in advance. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    A bit of good news! Glazers announced that all the $35 tickets have sold, but they were working with Ticketmaster to adjust some prices of other tickets downward. They have come through as promised, opening two whole sideline sections up (332 and 339). No added fees. You can get two tix to the game for $70...with parking about $15 and concessions for half price, two people can enjoy opening day live and in person for less than $110. Group of four adults for total of $200. You'd not be able to do a decent dinner and movie in a theater for less than that.
  • avatar

    Yeah Frick the Glazers! Glad you all can go that is great for you. I'll read about it Monday.
  • avatar

    Why do Miami , Jacksonville sellout all there games. Because they have football fans so therefore there are know blackout. People are talling bad about the Glazers L.A. is looking for a teams so don't make it easy go to the games. I live in ST. CLOUD my boys go to every home game.
  • avatar

    Never missed a home game. My season tickets have always been a high priority even in the woeful years and when it was difficult financially. I always said I pay for them with what others spend for beer, cigarettes, boats and tattoos.
  • avatar

    You are right. In many cases, it's not that people who claim to be fans can't pay, it's just that they won't or think their cigarettes and beer are more important. It's a matter of choice. I wonder what the difference is in stealing beer and cigarettes is versus stealing the Bucs NFL product off the internet. Guess in today's world, we gotta chain down and lock everything in the front yard for people like that.
  • avatar

    Blackout huh,so what else is new!
  • avatar

    I live on the space coast in Brevard county well over 75 miles from Tampa, but since we get our feed from Orlando we're blacked out also. We go to one game a year because it's three hours each way,to me the rule is B.S..
  • avatar

    surferdudes...I used to live on the Space Coast, and I think I remember that although the game was not shown on TV for reason you mentioned (the feed from Orlando), I think you are OUTSIDE the area for the DirectTV blackout. Check with a local sports bar like Beef O Bradys to see if they carry it on NFL Sunday Ticket. I could be wrong, but I do remember having to go to bars to watch some games.
  • avatar

    Wow! Lee Roy Selmon had a stroke and first rsponders attemptd to revive him. Family is is responding and coming to Tampa. This is not good for our greatest Buc. Lets all pray for him.
  • avatar

    Looks like the old trusty internet will have to do again. Old rules, new times....
  • avatar

    Well, I would hope you don't live locally, have a physical disability, are unemployed, or have some other REAL issue that will justify stealing a product that is for sale. If so, I can sympathize with your situation. If not, sad.
  • avatar

    I understand the economy problems, but I live in NC and have 2 season tickets and only game in jeopardy for me is the Monday Night game due to my work schedule. I am a long time fan and hate to hear other real Bucs fans can't see the game and live within an hour of Ray Jay. This will be a great season for any Bucs fan and I expect the real fans to show up and support the team. I walk from the International Mall parking to save money and don't buy the food or beverages or items inside the stadium to save money. I do travel for a living, so I use airline, hotel and rental car points for my personal sports travel and that keeps the cost down for me, but I remember the days when I was on the waiting list for season tickets and willing to move to Tampa just because I have been a Fan since 76' and love TAMPA BAY. Go Bucs!!!
  • avatar

    Amen Brother!
  • avatar

    personally, if any of the games get to 55,000 I would think the Glaziers would haev the business sense to team with the TV network and buy up the remaining tickets at the discount from the NFL they would get. - - - - - - I would imagine the publicity from showing their new young team would eventually outweigh that loss in $.
  • avatar

    Maybe it's cost effective, but then again, in a market where so many claim to be Bucs fans, have the means, the time, and the health to go, don't...then maybe it's time for the Bucs to move to a city that supports them. I'm pretty sure they bought up extra seats in 2007-2009 season...and support still stunk.
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  • avatar

    I'm a season ticket holder, but I wanted to let you know the $35 ticket is only if you buy season tickets. You can't buy a single game ticket for $35. You can buy a $35 ticket per game season ticket package, but that's all.
  • avatar

    My and my friends have bought tickets to the home opener and the MNF game and we live way down in south florida where we could easily see the games for free. Those that live in the area but aren't willing to dish out a mere $35 for a ticket to see at least one home game this season really piss me off. One $35 ticket per season is all I ask people. Those that claim they can't afford it probably have at least $35 worth of alcohol in their homes right now.
  • avatar

    If the rule for blackouts is 75 miles from the Stadium. Why is Orlando blacked out? I'm a huge bucs fan since I was a kid and it drives me crazy that Orlando is considered the local market and is not able to watch the games. Not even on the NFL Ticket?!?!?!?!
  • avatar

    1. Doesn't matter who broadcats it. 2. Orlando is considered part of the Buccaneer's market, regardless of mileage.
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