Despite millions spent in free agency, a highly touted draft class, lowered ticket prices and several payment options, the Buccaneers home opener against Carolina on September 9 most likely will not be seen on local television. The Buccaneers announced they are still over 9,000 tickets short of the 85 percent threshold to avoid a blackout.
For those who are expecting to watch the Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers next Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. you most likely will need to purchase a ticket.
Despite a serious push to sellout the home opener, the odds are stacked against it happening, with over 9,000 tickets still available to even reach the 85 percent blackout exemption rule, this according to Buccaneers director of communications Jonathan Grella.
The Buccaneers have been offering free parking in select lots (a savings of $25), half-priced concessions (excluding alcohol) and a giveway to commemorate Ronde Barber’s 200th career start in order to fill Raymond James Stadium for the season opener September 9 when the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton come to town.
In addition to the promotions, back in July Tampa Bay announced plans to take advantage of the National Football League's recently-passed measure reducing the percentage of general admission ticket sales needed to avoid local broadcast blackouts of home games. As a result, any 2012 Buccaneer home games that sell 85% of non-premium tickets would be televised locally, rather than the 100% previously required.
"We hope that this move, along with lower ticket prices, starting at $30 for adults and $15 for children, will lead to more televised Buccaneer home games this year," said Buccaneers Vice President of Business Administration Brian Ford on July 13.
Along with the lowered ticket prices and blackout threshold selected, the Buccaneers have offered 12-month interest free payment plans and recently even unveiled a half-season ticket package. Combined with the new coaching staff brought in, a highly-touted 2012 draft class and the millions ($140.5 million on Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright) spent in free agency, it is still puzzling to many that the fans haven’t responded to the incentives, and most likely the first game under new head coach Greg Schiano will be blacked out.
The deadline Thursday to avoid a television blackout within a 75-mile radius of the local market is 4:25 p.m. and unless ticket buyers appear in droves before then, this game will be like the previous 13 of 15 home games at Raymond James – not available to watch in the local market.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.