Is England About Attendance?

April 15th, 2011

There’s been rampant “why” speculation surrounding the Bucs agreeing to move the Bucs-Bears 2011 home game to England.

The Bucs have deferred official comment to the NFL suits until the league announces its schedule. But, of course, that doesn’t stop every beat writer, analyst, blogger, talking head and water-cooler philosopher from chiming in with a definitive take.

Veteran Bucs beat scribe Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune chimed in with vigor during an interview on The Fabulous Sports Babe Show on WHBO-AM 1040 today.

Cummings wagged a finger at Bucs fans for bringing the loss of a home game on themselves.

“Folks, this is what happens when you don’t come out and support your football team. Sometimes they might take it away,” Cummings said to those complaining about Team Glazer agreeing to play in England for the second time in three years.

The dean of Tampa Bay sports radio, Steve Duemig, of WDAE-AM 620, had a similar take last week.

And Cummings echoed a popular opinion that the Bucs didn’t want a repeat of the Bucs-Steelers game last year, when the C.I.T.S. was overwhelmed by Steelers colors and the game was blacked out, just short of a sellout.

While Joe gets why the Bucs agreed to play the Bears in England, and it’s a sound gamble for the long term health of the franchise, the attendance part of the equation is a tough one for Joe to swallow.

Are we to accept in April, with an improving economy and a vastly improved football team with legitimate stars, that a home game in October against the Bears is going to be a repeat of the Pittsburgh invasion of 2010? Joe’s not buying that six months out.

Is there no confidence in the Buccaneers’ sales and marketing staffs? Perhaps those departments need to be put under the microscope. Last Joe checked, has never been hit up to buy season tickets and never been approached to creatively, or traditionally, market ticket sales. 

But so what if there are 25,000 Bears fans at the C.I.T.S? What better way to generate buzz and passion among your own fan base — and the visitor’s — then to bury Chicago on the home turf? And experienced Bucs fans know that half those Bears fans are bandwagoners living locally who’d be happy to start calling themselves Bucs fans when Tampa Bay returns to glory.

Last Joe checked, fans get jacked up and start buying gear and talking up the team when they experience a big home victory in the flesh.  

A near-full stadium, including Bears fans, seems like a game the Bucs should have been salivating over.

31 Responses to “Is England About Attendance?”

  1. IMHO... Says:

    money, money, money, money…MONEY!

  2. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Joe says: “Are we to accept in April, with an improving economy and a vastly improved football team with legitimate stars, that a home game in October against the Bears is going to be a repeat of the Pittsburgh invasion of 2011?”

    The answer is: Yes JOe. The community doesnt believe that this team is “vastly improved.” It “improved” from the debacl of 2009 but who couldnt. Last year was a gift of cupcakes without their staring qb’s basically week after week, you are not likely to get that agains which means no playoffs again.

    When you gut the team, replace with mostly late round draft picks, Undrafted rookie free agents and Rah Morris – it takes more than one fluke season to force people to spend the money. My bet: The Glazers are evaluating a move – not saying I have a source just a hunch. Manu, hack payroll, gut the team, alienate the public, hire an unqualified head coach, not buy tickets to avoid blackouts, beg to move a game overseas and on and on and on . . . . until 2013 or 2014 when the first mention of a new stadium happens because the NFL will want more upgrades for future super bowls and then . Who knows?

  3. thomas 2.2 Says:

    I know there are typos.

  4. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “The Glazers are evaluating a move – not saying I have a source just a hunch.”


    LMAO!!!!! You mean, you don’t have a source? I’m shocked, I thought you write for a living? All this time you’ve been blasting this team I thought you had a source, and now you are telling me you only have a hunch? So basically everything you’ve been saying is without any facts to back up your arguments? I’m disappointed in you sir Thomas! You are better than that.

  5. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    C’mon, Thomas. Everyone knows the team is greatly improved. 1,000-yard rookie rusher and stud rookie receiver, 10 wins, top young QB in the league. The Bucs had none of that in 2009.

    THis is just silly, although agrees that new stadium talk is sure to come this decade.

  6. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    It’s also nice to know that Thomas has a great feel of the how the community feels. It’s probably due to all the community work he does.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Sorry Joe, you are wrong, Thomas has a hunch.

  8. OAR Says:

    I had a hunch once, but it just turned out to be my back!

  9. Mauha Deeb Says:

    England will bring in far more money than Tampa. That is the one and only reason we will play there. Tampa also, for some odd reason, has the largest NFL fan base overseas. Must be the awesome uniforms!

  10. WeNeedDefense Says:

    ““Folks, this is what happens when you don’t come out and support your football team. Sometimes they might take it away,” Cummings said

    Hey Cummings, you chased away Jon Gruden and demorialized the fanbase with your negative articles for many years you dumbsh!t.


  11. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I highly doubt Roy Cummings had anything to do with Gruden getting fired. It might have had something to do with Gruden refusing to follow the direction the owners wanted to go in. I think you are giving him way more credit than he deserves. But if you want to go ahead and continue to pass blame on others, knock yourself out.

  12. Fish Says:

    Pittsburgh invasion of 2010

  13. Fish Says:

    P.S. the team IS greatly improved. It’s not all about talent, but mostly about attitude, and you can tell the team attitude is greatly improved.

    The fans just don’t buy into it because for the past 6 years we’ve gone from 5 wins to 10, then back to 5 over and over and over again with Chucky. Just look at Thomas’ perspective – It’s completely reasonable for fans to be skeptical.

    I can see through the fog, though. I just wish I lived in the area and could sign up for some season tickets now before the demand starts getting crazy competitive again in the next year or two.

  14. OAR Says:

    We were sold out (with a waiting list) during those up and down seasons though!?

  15. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Roy writes for the only news paper in town… nobody buys the Times.

    Roy continued to write negative article after negative article about the Bucs all because he hated Gruden and Allen. He was chasing them off through the local media forum.

    If Roy doesn’t want to believe this, then go back and look at the archives. The idiot chased the coach and GM out of town.

    3 Division titles
    1 Super Bowl
    the most wins in the Bucs history as a coach
    9-7 the last 2 years

    Roy hated Gruden and Allen with a passion.

    He is a hack.

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I am not doubting he hated Gruden. That doesn’t mean he got them fired. Gruden didn’t want to go young, that’s why he was fired. It certainly wasn’t because of Roy Cummings. C’mon man, you are smarter than that.

  17. Jerry Says:

    Whether you guys want to admit it or not…Roy is 100% right here. If Tampa can’t sell out A SINGLE GAME, then the Glazers will take the game elsewhere.

  18. Scott Says:

    If “They” can take away “your team” then it’s not your team it’s theirs.

  19. MOBucs Says:

    Am I the only one on here who doesn’t agree that the economy is improving? Surely not! I have no doubt that attendance will be up this year, but when only 46% of Americans have steady jobs, you have to temper expectations a bit.

  20. Mr. Lucky Says:

    On April 12th Joe wrote:

    “Joe just finds it absolutely amazing that with more houses in this market underwater than on time with their mortgage payments, with many people in foreclosure, with unemployment still horrible and see if you can name anyone (outside of a lawyer) who is making more than three years ago, with the area’s largest employer (schools) cutting salaries, that people need to throw away their houses, get behind on their car payments, start bouncing checks all over creation in order to “support” the Bucs.

    That’s just friggin’ rich to Joe.

    For those people who think this way, put your money where your mouth is: Call a foreclosure lawyer and offer to buy season tickets for one of his/her clients.”

    Joe Mr Lucky thinks that the Glazers read your site and decided that the economic situation in Tampa wasn’t going to improve so they choose London. Can’t have it both ways Joe….

  21. Mr. Lucky Says:

    MoBucs – Only 46% of people have steady jobs? REALLY

    The sky is falling…the sky is falling…the sky is falling

    NOT! Sorry but type the words and look at all the available jobs waiting to be filled. Just because you don’t have the right skills doesn’t mean the economy sucks. Maybe it’s time for you to go back to school.

  22. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Mr. Lucky, you’re taking this wayyy out of context. Joe was talking about people who can’t afford tickets in that situation, not the people who CAN afford it.

    Fact is last year, when the economy was worse, the Steelers game was a near sellout.

    This post is about ONE game and one excuse/reason floated by media.

  23. admin Says:

    JOe here,

    @MoBucs – Yes the economy is improving, but that doesn’t mean a majority is affected. But the stock market had a phenomenal year in 2010 and keeps on chugging. Tourism is up, and the unemployment numbers have improved.

  24. MOBucs Says:

    Maybe you ought to do a little research Mr. Lucky. In 2010 only 45.4% of Americans had steady employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported by USAToday, this is the lowest rate since 1983. I was fortunate to be part of the minority last year. Maybe you feel the 9% unemployment rate and obvious signs of inflation are positives for this country’s economy. I do not. Before you try and condescend, get your facts straight. Ignorance is bliss.

  25. MOBucs Says:

    Hey Joe… You are much more optimistic then I am about the economy. I’m pretty sure jobless claims just hit a two month high. I will concede that the stock market has performed very well considering the state of the economy, but it’s difficult to find many positive signs of growth. Enough of
    this though. I love this site and did not intend to turn this into a non-football topic. Go Bucs!

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Great Business Move. I’ll suck it up.

    Hey guys, Business is booming. Wake up and get going!

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    I love Josh Freeman. The future is very bright.

  28. bucyea Says:

    C’mon joe, pick a side and stick with it. Great move by the ownership to get some pub for a pathetic fan base

  29. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @bucyea – Not against the game in England, and with 11 percent unemployment the economy sucks, but it would be a lot better if it was against the Texans or Lions, teams that would have drawn a lot less around here.

  30. buckeyebob Says:

    When it ain’t about money its’s always about money !

  31. Sgt Mike Says:

    I don’t care where thay play as long as it’s on TV here in D.C.. I’m tired of watching on crappy P2P bittorent. I really hate all these whiny Redskin fans.