Actual Attendance Still StrugglingDecember 1st, 2009
Back on October 18, the local and national media were all buzzing about the Bucs’ actual in-stadium attendance against the Carolina Panthers. The total was a mere 42,847, about 20,000 less than the announced “sold out” attendance of 62,422.
Official stadium capacity is 65,857.
Part of the buzz that day was the Bucs falling short of the in-stadium attendance of a University of South Florida football game just three days earlier, which drew 55,073 fannies in the seats.
So what happened next? The answer isn’t a pretty one for the Glazer Boys.
The Bucs have played two home games since.
On the heralded Lee Roy Selmon/Ring of Honor day against the Green Bay Packers, the actual attendance was just 53,599, per the Tampa Stadium Authority, the public entity that manages Raymond James Stadium.
The mark was still shy of the USF game total, despite massive hype, a gorgeous day, and a historic moment for the franchise.
Next up was the undefeated Saints facing the emerging Josh Freeman and the Bucs. Actual attendance: 49,542.
Now Joe firmly believes attendance is a factor in the Glazers decision making process when it comes to keeping Raheem The Dream for the 2010 season.
Bryan Glazer, in one of his rare public appearances in January, said he and his brothers consulted with fans on whether to retain Jon Gruden, reported the St. Pete Times.
Asked further about the community feedback, Glazer said, “Our fans are our stockholders. They’re what we play for — the people in our stadium and the ones that watch on TV. That’s what it’s all about: winning and how they feel about the team. If they don’t feel good about the team, then there’s something wrong. . . I think you all know the sense that’s out there. It was time for a change.”
In the quote above, Glazer specifically mentioned the “people in the stadium.” Why wouldn’t the Glazers use attendance as a referendum on the head coach over the final two home games? It’s very reasonable to assume they will.
If Bucs fans are excited by what Raheem The Dream is doing with the team down the stretch, it’s fair to assume actual attendance will increase. Especially considering it’s common knowledge that a good pair of Bucs tickets can be had these days outside the stadium for a mere $35.