When the Bucs take the field for the upcoming season and gaze out into the stands, it will look much different than the last time there was a packed crowd in attendance.

Pre Covid-19, Raymond James Stadium served as more of a travel destination for opposing team’s fans. The lower bowl would be filled with the opposition’s jerseys, failing to provide a real home field advantage for Tampa Bay. Since 2006 the Bucs have routinely had some of the worst attendance rankings in the league, finishing 30th overall in 2019. With a seating capacity of 65,890, the team hasn’t come close to filling that since 2008, when they averaged 64,511 fans in attendance. In fact, over the last ten years the Bucs have only finished higher than 29th in attendance twice.

Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium – Photo by: PR

Something has been lacking in past years. Largely due to their 12 consecutive playoff-less seasons, Tampa Bay hasn’t had a great stadium atmosphere. Speaking with Texans cornerback Keion Crossen, who played at Raymond James in 2019, he said, “I can tell you what did stand out was the lack of fans in the stadium, that was a rough one.”

That should all change this year. For the first time in franchise history, the Bucs have sold out their entire stadium before training camp even begins. The demand for tickets is so high Tampa Bay utilized a waiting list for the first time since 2003.

So, what does this all mean?

For the first time in years, the Bucs are expected to feel a real home field advantage. The stadium will be packed with red, white and pewter jerseys, with some creamsicles thrown in for good measure. The atmosphere will be buzzing off the high of a Super Bowl championship season. And the crowd will be roaring behind their team.

The impact fans can have on the players shouldn’t be taken lightly. Look at venues like Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City or the 12th man in Seattle. From the crowd noise making it difficult for opposing offenses, to feeding off the energy fans bring, a full capacity home crowd can make the opposing team’s job much more difficult.

But with a sellout crowd comes higher expectations. How will the Bucs handle the pressure that comes with success? They are saying all the right things, being “the hunters instead of the hunted”, blocking out the noise, getting back to work. Acknowledging that this is a new team that hasn’t done anything yet. But they know what is at stake. Even with one of the league’s “easiest” schedules, repeating as champions will be no small task.

Crazy enough, in an area the team could stand to improve, a sellout crowd should help. Last season the Bucs were better on the road than they were at home, winning nine away games compared to just six at home (including the playoffs). The Bucs three highest-scoring outputs of the season also came on the road, and their two toughest losses at home.

The Bucs can improve that home record right out of the gate in the season opener against the high-powered Cowboys. But when Tampa Bay runs onto the field this year, they won’t be greeted by a stadium packed with visitors. Instead it’ll be a sea of proud red, white and pewter jerseys filling Raymond James. It’ll be a game day atmosphere other teams will begin to respect.

How can this Bucs team be better in 2021? Having a true home field advantage may just be part of the answer.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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6 months ago

I’ll believe it when I see it. As a season ticket holder since 1980 I have seen how fickle and mercenary the bandwagon fans of Tampa Bay are.
The worst ones are the fans who sit in the club seats in the lower bowl. A lot of times those fans will sell thier tickets to fans of the other team at twice the value of the seat just to make a quick profit. I suspect they would sell thier mother or another family member in the same fashion if given the chance.

NC Greenbeard
NC Greenbeard(@nc-greenbeard)
Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

those of us long-term fans know it’s wise to “believe when you see” with this franchise, but I really think we’ll have good turnout from Bucs fans this year. Maybe not Arrowhead loud or Seattle loud but think it will be a noticeable difference. Just enjoy it… when we break this team up in a year or two it’ll go back to what we’ve been used to more often than not.

Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

The Club Seats are mid-level and very expensive. Very doubtful many are selling them for “twice the value”. It’s more the season ticket holders in the lower bowl who are selling their tickets. Especially the east side.

Morgan R
Morgan R(@moragami)
6 months ago

Hell Yeah! I was so pumped to see the GOAT and Bucs run it back, we are flying out from Portland, OR for Sunday Night Football Dec 19th against Jameis and the Saints! What a game, so pumped!!!

Last edited 6 months ago by Morgan R
6 months ago

Would be nice to see especially if it’s noticeable in a broadcast. My wife is due in late November and I need the kid to arrive early or on time so I can make my first trip to Ray Jay. Seen the Bucs in NY, SD, and Philly …Finally got tickets for the Bills game on the 12th. Go Bucs!

6 months ago

Anyone who knows me or reads my comments knows one of my pet peeves is season pass members who are so quick to sell their tickets to the opponent. My other complaint is football fans who have lived here for years, yet continue to favor their old team. Then, to make it even worse, teach their kids to cheer for a team from a place they couldn’t locate on a map. Having never missed a “home” game, I’ve had my share of losing and “weeping with the enemy.” Unlike DrD, I don’t begrudge someone making a profit. I only take… Read more »