Blog Entry

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

Posted on: September 2, 2011 1:09 pm

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Buccaneers won 10 games last season, have a young coach in Raheem Morris, a franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, and have earned the right to be talked about as a possible playoff team. And come Sunday, September 11, when they host the Lions (this year's dark-horse candidate to make the postseason) in the 2011 regular-season opener they will almost certainly play before a less-than-capacity crowd. Which for Tampa-area residents means that unless you're at Raymond James Stadium you won't see the game because it will be blacked out.

Details via Scott Reynolds of "The number of tickets sold for the Bucs vs. Lions game … 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."

It gets worse. Reynolds reports that the team hasn't yet announced any of the 2011 home games as sold out.

"The best chances of any home sellouts," Reynolds continued, "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."

So there's that.

The bigger issue, of course, is that despite the NFL being more popular than ever, and the increased demand for the sport created by the lockout, the Bucs aren't close to filling seats for the first game of the season.

Attendance problems are nothing new for the Bucs, however. As's Michael David Smith notes "If the Buccaneers wanted to, they could buy back all the unsold tickets at 34 percent of face value to get the blackout lifted. By a back-of-the-envelope estimate of 10,000 tickets at $100 each, it would cost the Buccaneers $340,000 to lift the blackout. That’s not much money to the billionaire Glazer family, owners of the Buccaneers — especially considering how much money the Bucs are saving this season by having a payroll that’s nearly $30 million under the salary cap."

Short of that, the team has reduced ticket prices and given stadium concession discounts in an effort to drum up demand. So far, it's not working.

There is a silver lining, though; unlike last year, when every Bucs home game was blacked out, fans can be assured that at least one home game will be televised locally this season. Tampa Bay will face the Bears in London, and even though the Bucs are considered the home team, because it will be played some 4,400 miles from Raymond James Stadium, it will be shown in the Tampa area.

Now if the NFL could just get all of the Bucs' games moved to Europe blackouts wouldn't be a problem.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:16 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 9:55 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 5:36 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 12:42 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 8:22 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

I think the blackout rule is bs.  You punish the local city if the seats dont get sold out.  It should be against the law honestly the way I see it is the tax payers helped pay for every stadium in this country and the least the NFL should do is put local games on.  You wonder why some teams flurish while others fail, if I live in Jacksonville and never get to see them play but see the Patriots or Philidelphia or what ever other top team does get shown they get a larger fan base.  

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:35 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

Ask Raider fans on how to deal with NFL blackouts. Raider games have been blacked out for 5 years straight (when they are not playing the local team - 49ers). Lol....: (Who would want to watch a Raider game when you will face a crazy Raider fan who wants to beat you up for no good reason (are they a closet LA Dodger fan?)

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:15 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

Florida fans don't deserve pro sports teams.  Look at the baseball teams.  Their attendance is embarrassing, and Tampa has been a playoff team and contender fairly consistently.  The Marlins aren't great, but they have had some good seasons.  In pro football, the Jags and Bucs attendance continues to struggle, despite both having winning records, while Miami has been real inconsistent, but have by far, the best attendance of the 3 major cities.   I don't want to hear any whining, when some owners bail out, and go to cities where they can get some real fan support.  Y'all should be ashamed!

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 5:14 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

I hear there is town out west looking for an NFL. Can you say Los Angeles Buccaneers ? Seriously, I don't know what is keeping that team there.

Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: September 2, 2011 4:58 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

tampa bay doesnt care about sports besides fishing

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2011 4:38 pm

Bucs season opener could be blacked out

Nobody wants to drive to the ghetto of St. Pete to watch another Rays game in Dome of doom and gloom. Rays need a stadium in Channelside or next to the football field (Al Lopez park) so its more central. People from Lakeland and the outer regions are not going to make that drive over the bridge at 6:40 to sit in traffic for a Rays game. As far as the Bucs they sucked last year ... i know there record was good but they won 1 game against teams who were over .500. $3700 for season tickets in the second class of club seats. Thats for 2 tickets per game which includes preseason games. You do the math 9 games (1 is acrossed the pond again) Roughly $400 for 2 people to go to the game and that doesn't include anything but parking. With all that being said the real problem is no one is from Tampa. Not to many true Bucs fans most migrate from the north and still ahve loyalty to there original teams including myself. I make it out to 1 or 2 games a year and also pay to see USF play at Raymond James which tickets are cheaper but not the $9 beer and $25 parking. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or