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August 31, 2012 @ 5:02 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Need A Hail Mary To Avoid Blackout Of Season Opener

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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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.

Last modified on Friday, 31 August 2012 17:12

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  • avatar

    Wasn't trying to imply that you were passing judgement on anyone Mark so please don't think so...but you pointed out a 2.8 million population number right?...two questions...did you follow the my fox tampa bay news link that I included in my post? cause if you did and then followed up with some independent research, you'd be able to confirm that Tampa is in as bad of shape if not worse than Detroit..I'd like to think that even if Tampa is in more of a financially distressed condition than Detroit, the one thing we have going for us is our tight knit community that is keeping our good citizens from turning on each other...unlike in detroit. but when you take that 2.8 mil pop number and apply the "national" numbers of 1 in 6 living in poverty conditions...it's bleak with no end in sight...obviously Tampa residents still have money as well as the city because street lights aren't being turned off in the crime ridden sections of town along with cops outright notifying citizens that they will not be patrolling these areas past dusk...but like I said with no end in sight and a national leader who intentionally cooks the books on job numbers...I'd surmise that most Tampa residents are more in touch with that reality than just population numbers combined with a sudden stirring by the Bucs ownership to try and make us believe they are all of a sudden committed to the team again after 3 years of very loud silence...but again...thats just me. Anyone else have a thought??
  • avatar

    FINALLY!!! The list is out fellow Buc fans and while I still strongly protest letting go of Tiquan Underwood...I was pleased to see Cody Grimm retained and well as Sammie Stroughter...I know some of you have nothing but criticism for the guy..but one thing no one can deny is his ability to play and consistently improve his play when he has been healthy...Also think Sean Baker is immediately signed to the practice squad. Larry Asante, Sean Baker, Landon Cox, Rennie Curran, Jacob Cutrera, Drake Dunsmore, Kai Forbath, Jermarcus Hardrick, Robert Hughes, Cody Johnson, Mossis Madu, Jordan Nix, Moe Petrus. Zack Pianalto, Brett Ratliff, James Rogers, Jordan Shipley, Tiquan Underwood, Teryl White, E.J. Wilson, Desmond Wynn.
  • avatar

    I'll be there and fired up to see if we can catch Carolina flat. Coach has got his work cut out for him this season and so far he gets a B because he is clearing house and only keeping players that will work in his scheme. Next year at this time I believe we will be feeling a lot better about our Bucs! Time to support the Bucs whether you go to the game or not. Here's hoping that we will never see a team quit on us again like last year. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    T Jax smokes again WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson was suspended indefinitely without pay Friday by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy, complicating the team's plans on the day players were cut to establish a 53-man roster for the start of the regular season. Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/nfl/08/31/redskins-jackson-suspended.ap/index.html#ixzz25B48oDEP
  • avatar

    I'd love to go as well. With student loan payments, 11,000 in Credit Card Debt and a house worth 40% of what I paid that needs a roof, windows and a new lanai screen, it would be fiscally irresponsible to spend money on season tickets. Many people in the Tampa Bay area are like me. College Grads, with a fair income, but not much available cash.
  • avatar

    jcarruth the casual fan is not a fan at all. Fan is short for fanatic!!! I am a fan, but I am so poor now that the church mice moved out of my house. I can't afford to buy game tickets and that is the truth. I suspect there are a lot of people in the Tampa Bay market in the same boat I am in. The difference is they aren't honest enough to admit it. They would rather try to shift the blame to the terrible Glazers. That is weak and it's also a blatant lie. When this market begged for a team back in the 70s and finally got one in 1976 they were ecstatic. They put up with Hugh Culverhouse for 20 years and "Big Hugh Baby" wouldn't ever spend money on the team. The Glazer's got Tampa it's first and only Super Bowll Championship. If there is a problem in Tampa Bay, it isn't the Glazers....It's all us poor people!!!!
  • avatar

    And what were ticket sales like back in the Culverhouse era? I remember many a season in the partially filled Sombrero that look a lot like the recent seasons. My point remains, there arent enough fanatics to fill the stadium regularly you need to have casually interested other people willing to go and its going to take some time to get them back in the stadium.
  • avatar

    The Glazer boys? Well what would you expect from someone who bills himself as Lord Jim. Tampa is broke and we could be holding LA's new team until they get their new stadium built. Well at least if they move to LA I'll be able to watch them on TV. They'll still be my favorite team no matter where they are. People wake up and smell the coffee...Tampa is an Arena league town these days. Trying to put it down to wins and losses is weak. It comes down to disposable income of the people in the Tampa Bay market. In the NFL's eyes the 85% attendance to lift the blackouts is the acid test for the Tampa Bay market. Well it will save USF from having to build an on campus stadium at least and they can replace the Pirate ship with a Bull Corral. Raheem was going to show Greg Schiano "How the cow ate the cabbage" with the signing of Tanard Jackson. Jackson was just suspended for a year for substance abuse for the second time. Raheem is talking about being a head coach again. Rah here's a cheat sheet for you. Familiarity breeds contempt!!! You can't be their pal, you have to be their coach. Also being a head coach requires good judgement. Greg Schiano has good judgement and Raheem Morris doesn't. It also looks like Jordan Todman won't be released by the Vikings after his 10 carry 114 yard game vs the Texans on Tuesday. The 76 yard TD run shows what Todman is capable of. I like Sean Baker a lot. He seems to have a nose for the ball.
  • avatar

    Puzzling Mark Cook...REALLY!!?? Besides the slap in the face Buccaneer football product that we've seen on the field now for years..it's puzzling?? Forgive me for pointing this out: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/18439225/2012/05/16/tampa-named-most-financially-distressed-area-in-the-us The official national numbers and if they come from the current WH administration are probably cooked like our national unemployment numbers, are 1 in 6 Americans reduced to living in poverty...I know..my household is about - far from that as well...Sorry but 30 bucks is 30 bucks, and until the team and our nation does something to improve this very harsh reality, I'd rather have food on my table or toilet paper to...yeah. GO BUCS and GO any Presidential candidate that lives in reality and not on the golf course.
  • avatar

    Yeah Buc for life, puzzling. 2.8 million just in the Bay area alone. I'm not saying people should put football ahead of their family. For the last few years all you heard was, if the Glazers spend money, people will show up. Well...My financial situation isn't the best and my discretionary is limited as well. So I get it. But there ARE enough people with money to spend and they choose not to. That is the puzzling part. Im not judging anyone, just curious why people aren't.
  • avatar

    The Glazer boys threw Gruden under the bus while spending no money for eight years and then are surprised that we aren't too fired up by a lousy preseason? Hey, I'm sure the Tampa Tribune columnists will be at the game. The rest of us will stream it until they've proved they learned their lesson.
  • avatar

    Threw Gruden under the bus? What an idiot. Gruden ran off John McKay then used all their cap room to sign 35 year old running backs and offensive linemen while letting players like Sapp and Lynch walk. Gruden single handily destroyed everything Dungy and McKay had made within 2 years of getting here -- because he had to win on his own, to show everyone how smart he was. Gruden destroyed what should have been a dynasty. I'm not sure who the dumber person is however, you or him.
  • avatar

    Everyone will say preseason doesn't matter, but the Bucs finished 31st in offense and 31st in defense. The preseason doesn't matter, unless it comes to selling tickets. Schiano has done nothing to build excitement around the team. Are you really excited to see a 'disciplined' team? Uh no. Would I be excited to see a team with a modern NFL offense? Yes. Am I excited to see an offense that still looks like Mike Shula is still doing the playing calling? No. Schiano is a bore, period. If he wins it won't matter. But so far he just seems like the 2nd coming of Ray Perkins. Grrrrr. I'm angry the coach. Grrrrr get your tickets now and watch as we play awful defense and then on offense run the ball up the middle of the field 45 times and get 1.5 yards per carry. Uh. No thank you. Dungy could overcome his Shula offense because he had and created that great defense. Schiano doesn't even have a real defensive coordinator because Butch Davis doesn't want to lose his college money. Once again, 31st in defense, 31st in offense in the preseason season. Yeah, it doesn't matter unless you count ticket sales. If the Bucs can come out and win this opening game I think they'll get peoples attention. I wish we played a team like GB in our opener because I think we'd beat them, we just have their number. But in reverse Carolina has our number and I think they'll probably rush for 300 yards and win by 30. Do I want to buy tickets for that game? No. Will I buy tickets for a different game later in the season? Most likely. But not yet, Schiano hasn't earned my money at this point.
  • avatar

    The glazers slapped the fans around so much for the past few years, there is no wonder why people don't want to go. They have to earn their trust back or create new fans.
  • avatar

    I dont think it's puzzling at all Mark, the Bucs did a great job of completely killing off their "casual" fan base over the last few years. Those of us who come to boards like PR arent casual fans, casual fans are the guys around the water cooler (or the coffee machine) that dont talk Bucs football at all anymore. It's going to take some sustained winning to get those people interested again.
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