Bucs Make Plea For Community SupportSeptember 5th, 2012
With reservations, Joe is bringing you this story via eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune that is bound to draw forth ire from Bucs fans.
Part of the reason Joe is typing this up is that he has been overwhelmed with questions about the looming blackout of the opening week against the stinking Panthers.
No, there is no update on how many tickets need to be sold. And there likely won’t be until the 4:25 p.m. deadline rolls around tomorrow. (In the unlikely event of an update, Joe will have it here on this site ASAP.) On Friday, the Bucs were some 9,000 tickets short of the 85 percent threshold needed for non-premium seats.
Simply put, that’s a ton of tickets to move in a short period of time, short of Van Halen or Bruce Springsteen.
This has not stopped Team Glazer from pitching tickets to turn Sunday’s game into a serious home-field advantage and one seen on local television.
Speaking at a Chamber of Commerce “Chalk Talk” luncheon at the Grand Hyatt, Glazer and Schiano implored fans to provide the Bucs with a boost in Sunday’s regular-season opener against an NFC South division rival that romped past Tampa Bay twice last season.
“We’d love to see everyone take advantage of our revamped pricing and our enhanced fan experience at Raymond James Stadium,” Glazer said. “We’re going to need you in our corner when we kick off at 4:25 this Sunday so we can re-establish a stadium atmosphere that fuels our team and frustrates our opponent.”
Joe is not telling anyone how to spend their money. Unlike some lazy local sports radio hosts who just cannot stop talking about this inane subject and are of the misguided notion that the last line of a box score (attendance) is somehow more important than the first line (the final score), fans can spend their cash however they deem fit.
Joe has no more business telling people how to spend their cash than someone telling Joe he should buy tickets to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.
Joe just doesn’t get the outrage people have for others not going to games. The NFL average attendance has dropped four years in a row yet each season the NFL sets TV ratings records. Joe’s not a math major but he can sure add this up.
Fueled by a rotten economy and the scourge of fantasy football, more and more people prefer the at-home, HDTV experience with the NFL Sunday Ticket and the Red Zone Channel than the in-game experience. In short, it’s a cultural change. The facepainters will always go to games but the casual fan isn’t as inclined any longer, and that, friends, is what determines sellouts in transient areas where blackouts are common such as Florida and California.
And though Joe is hardly an apologist for Team Glazer, no way they should buy any remaining tickets to ensure a game be televised locally. Team Glazer is graciously offering some free parking and half-off concessions for Sunday’s game. Those are generous enough enticements as it is.
So Joe just cautions Bucs fans who want to watch the game live, don’t depend on others and don’t bank on the game being televised live locally. Either be prepared to buy a ticket, or brace yourself to watch a rebroadcast at midnight Sunday night on NFL.com or NFL Sunday Ticket.