Last season the Buccaneers failed to record a single sellout at 65,000-seat Raymond James Stadium and, as a result, had all home games blacked out within a 75-mile radius.
Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer told reporters recently that the team is “hoping” for sellouts this season:
“Obviously, the economy here is still in bad shape in the Tampa Bay area,” Glazer said. “But we think as the team wins and we move forward and the plan continues, the fans will start coming back. I think there are some people waiting to see what happens this year, but the plan continues to roll along. Each day, more and more people buy into it.”
What will help the Bucs attract fans this season is their schedule as the schedule makers have given Tampa Bay two prime-time games against a pair of popular attractions in the Indianapolis Colts (Monday, October 3) and the Dallas Cowboys (Saturday, December 17).
“There is an increase in obviously the popularity of the two night games, but we still have a ways to go,” Glazer said. “We are still…the economy is still in the same situation it has been. We still have tickets to sell.”
So expect at least five or six blackouts in the Tampa Bay area again this season as the Bucs struggle to reconnect with their fans. Tampa is in a tough spot as the unemployment rate in Tampa hit 12.6 percent in December 2010. Thrown in the fact that the Buccaneers haven’t won a postseason game since their victory in Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season and are 12 games under .500 in the last eight years, it is easy to see why fans are not clamoring to go to a Bucs game this season.
For the Bucs to win off the field as well as on it, stars like quarterback Josh Freeman and wide receiver Mike Williams have to continue to develop and perform.