Will Lovie Sell Tickets?

January 5th, 2014


A ticket saved is a ticket earned in the world of One Buc Palace.

When Greg Schiano was head coach and Bucs ticket sales staffers made dreaded late December 2013 renewal calls to season ticket holders, Joe’s confident they encountered quite a bit or resistance and rage not befitting the holiday season.

Yes, there are faithful fans who will buy tickets unconditionally, but that’s not everybody.

Keeping Schiano would have meant lost ticket sales and widespread angst. Hiring Lovie Smith has brought calm, order and some excitement. Lovie’s presence has saved countless ticket sales, but will Lovie sell tickets?

Joe’s not sure. And neither is Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson.

Call me jaded, though, on at least one big point. I’m not sure even winning automatically will fill Raymond James Stadium every Sunday and beyond. I think fans are going to cheer with their hearts but stay skeptical with their wallets, at least for a while.

Henderson makes the often rehashed points that fans are comfortable at home and prices are still a big consideration for many.

Lovie alone won’t have a big impact immediately at the gate, Joe believes. Bucs fans are a leery bunch, beaten down by too many years of losing and no playoff-game victory since the Super Bowl 11 years ago.

However, Joe thinks Bucs fans will jump on the Lovie bandwagon very quickly if the Bucs win quickly. Fans want to believe, and Lovie offers extreme believability, something Schiano never earned. Raheem Morris couldn’t even get community buy-in after going deep in the 2010 playoff hunt.

If Lovie can deliver a ferocious defense and notch Ws, the scene at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway could easily flash back soon to the late 1990s –Team Glazer’s hope for their new head coach.


41 Responses to “Will Lovie Sell Tickets?”

  1. BucFanForever Says:

    I hope not; I thought they hired him to coach, not stand by the elevators at international mall.

  2. ChanEpic Says:

    *Throwing the Flag* – 10 yard penalty on Joe Henderson for Oversimplification.

    I think the overall economy of the area will play more of a factor than Lovie will. If people don’t have disposable income the Bucs can win a ton and the impact on ticket sales could be minimal.

    The Bucs can draft a QB like Manziel and he could/should have a bigger impact on ticket sales, Superstars/Potential Trainwrecks are catnip to our celebrity obsessed society.

    In my most humble opinion, taking a look at Lovie as a “ticket selling machine” misses the point we Buc Fans need to emphasize and not lose sight of.
    It’s the PRODUCT AS A WHOLE that is the biggest determinant of success. Every part of the organization is just as impactful as every other part when putting butts in the seat is the goal.

  3. Eric Says:

    I haven’t had season tickets since the days of Jon.

    Looking forward to fan fest to pick out a couple. Fired up ready to roll.

  4. TAC Says:

    The bucs fans that are needed again to sell out the stadium are the bucs 2nd team bandwagoners. They won’t be back, or switch back to bucs jerseys until the bucs are NFC championship contenders.

    There were problems selling out the stadium when Guruden was Coaching one and done playoff games.

    Just win, all problems go away.

    The only other thing that I can think of to help involves cheerleaders, and more toe, not MRSA.

  5. Destinjohnny Says:

    I bailed on my tickets cause I felt that I the club seats were to only good seAts- they made the upper deck 2 high due to the luxury boxes stacked two deep- the seats below the clubs are good but they are long since sold out- I don’t wanna go unless I have a good seat and there are none left

  6. Brandon Says:

    If Schiano csme back, there was no way I was going to fly down from DC to Tampa, rent a place and car, and go to the game like I have in the past. Now, I’m just waiting for the schedule to be released to figure out when.

    They’re playing in DC this year as well. I might be making three games this year!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think Lovie stopped the bleeding…..

    Fans want to see an exciting offense and a punishing defense.

    Drafting Manziel or even Sammy Watkins coupled with a new exciting offensive scheme from Tedford may do the trick.

    Of course we have to win.

  8. Investwax Says:

    People forget there are $35 tickets available. Sure, they’re up high, but the experience has improved. Ironically, we are dropping two of our four season tickets as I prefer to watch the game instead of entertaining guests.

    Looking forward to this season, especially if we draft a great QB prospect.

  9. lions Says:

    Good coaches get fans to pay attention. Showtime belongs to the players!

  10. Investwax Says:

    I’ll add that we should review the free agents available to fill vital roles and trade draft picks for a higher QB slot.

  11. Investwax Says:

    While no draft pick is guaranteed to be a home run, so many don’t turn out so might as well gamble more on the high pick.

    Get some excitement while assembling other pieces using veterans. Then you can use the draft to evolve the team to more youth.

  12. NY Buc Says:

    Team Glazer probably hopes the Lovie buzz helps sell season tickets. If Lovie 2.0’s offense is far more exciting to watch than Lovie 1.0’s was in Chicago that will probably help even more.

  13. Pick6 Says:

    We would not have any problem selling out games next December if we are in playoff contention. We sold out the SF game despite most of the city wanting the coach fired

  14. Architek Says:

    I plan to restart my annual trips to Tampa from Dallas to watch my Bucs now that they are serious about restoring our brand!

  15. ElioT Says:

    Bottom line for most is that the stadium experience isn’t that great especially in the cheap seats. Even at $35 a piece, it’s still cheaper and more enjoyable to watch at home if you have a nice couch, HDTV and grill or good pizza joint near by.

    With that said, I have the disposable income to get decent tickets and I will probably attend a few games this year as I am excited to watch a professional, respectful team again.

    Go Bucs!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I travel every year from NC….My record is 14-2…..I was going to the Buffalo game this year but cancelled the trip because of the 0-8 start…..likely to book a trip next year.
    After being a season ticket holder in 1976-1979….its hard for me to go a year without at least one live game.

  17. Bobby C. Says:

    I renewed my tickets on Dec 26, before everything had been announced, i did however upgrade my tickets from 308 to 145 with the idea that Lovie was going to take us in a direction that would cause people to buy tickets, and i didnt want to lose out on a chance to upgrade. I am a guy who has to worry about how to the electric bill on friday and how tight it is to pay the mortgage each month, I dont have any disposable income but i do share a passion for my team. The Bucs front office has broken my payments for tickets into a small enough payments that are small enough that anyone with a job could pay for. If you want something you make provisions to make it happen, i give up a few sodas and burgers each week to make it happen, because i want to. If i wait each week to buy my tickets i would never do it. I cant throw down 200 bucks each game but if i break it down months in advance, it can be done. Its all about want to. I hope more people want to be part of something great again in Tampa, I for one do.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Would have been 15-2…..of course, I have picked games I thought were Ws…..My only losses…..Washington 2 years ago & a Steeler game about 10 years ago.

    So….stay tuned for my game pick this year & place your bets.

  19. Larry Says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy the “overall economy of the area” excuse any more. I’m a Motown resident and our economy, while beginning to return, is still feeling the pain of 2008 much like Tampa Bay is. The Buc’s/Lions game was sold out, as was all 8 home games. I think the Buc’s and the Ray’s suffer from apathy due to the fact that much of your population base come from other areas. A Steeler’s fan who happened to relocate to Clearwater is still going to root for the Steelers.

  20. bucemup Says:

    Can’t wait to select some QB in the first or second round. So he can start, throw pick’s galore. Then get benched for a guy that had a GREAT rookie season. Far better than “wonder boy” Nick Foles. I’m not a big fan of these soft coaches “hugger’s”. Schiano was a hard coach. I blame the player’s for not buying in. Especially cancer’s like that sack of ____ Goldson. Report’s had him being the ringleader of the Anti-Schiano revolt in training camp. Can we not get out of his contract. If a guy refuses to play by the rules and hurt’s his team over and over again. Also release Revis sign him to a 15.5M per contract so we can get our 3rd round pick back. I’d almost rather have Millner for tiddly winks going forward. Over Revis at 16M per and the 1st and 3rd round picks we lost to get him. He was not very good this year. He should not be going to the probowl

  21. Cmurda Says:

    Yes, Lovie will sell tickets because wins sell tickets, not people. Lovie is going to win therefore sell tix. Next question?

  22. lurker Says:

    a big factor of the lovie hire was to sell tickets. you old farts in florida love nostalgia and are scared of something “new” and different.

  23. Tomcin Says:

    Imo, the only coach that would have sold more tickets is Gruden.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Larry

    Comparing Detroit to Tampa on a purely economic basis doesn’t tell the whole story…….Weather and the Domed Stadium are huge factors…..& the Suburbs of Detroit aren’t as much in an economic struggle.’

  25. BucsQcCity Says:

    As soon as the schedule is out my friend and I will book tickets for the bucs/bengals game (he’s an hardcore bengals fan).. We are over 1600 miles from RJ stadium.. It’s not about Lovie, it’s about the bucs!

  26. Cmurda Says:

    Larry’s right to an extent. I’m one of the few New Yorkers that converted early on right after moving and I happened to be young. With that said, there is a big enough contingency of Bucs fans and the area is not as small of a market as portrayed. The biggest factor and will always be the case is winning. It wasnt long ago that winning was an annual thing at Ray Jay and there was a 5-10 year wait on season tix. It’s all about winning. Lets not be naive.

  27. William Says:

    I am so static that we got rid of Laughing Stock II. For that I will show my appreciation for my team and owners and attend some games in the coming season.

    Thank you Glazers! I will be there!

  28. Grudenite Says:

    I go a couple times a year, drive from Sanford Florida. Blue collar worker but get decent seats in the upper levels. Love going to the live game and screaming my throat hoarse for the rest of the week. The camaradere of the fans on big plays makes it almost like family. I love this team, the fans the stadium and Lovie Smith. GO BUCS

  29. Larry Says:

    I am up here in the Detroit area after relocating from Tampa Bay. I started with the Buc’s in 1978 and sat through a whole lot of dismal seasons in the sombrero before having some fun in Ray Jay. I cannot be a Lion’s fan …. I am a Buc’s fan and could care less if my neighbors don’t like my Buc’s battle flag every Sunday! I suspect the Steeler’s fans, Eagle’s fans and the Lion’s fans, for that matter, relocating to Tampa Bay are the same. Tampa Bay has a whole lot more relocated people than Detroit has.

  30. NY Buc Says:

    spot on Larry, same deal I see as well. Seems like these older Northern teams have fanbases that have been fans of their teams sometimes for generations, the population influx is a little more stagnant up North maybe?

  31. PRBucFan Says:


  32. NewTampaChris Says:

    I grew up going to games at Giants Stadium. So I can confidently say that going to RJS is a far superior experience. Easier parking, good sight lines and simple egress.

    STILL, the in-game experience is far INFERIOR to the in-home experience. $100 for one decent ticket, plus $25 for parking and even more for refreshments. You’re crammed into small seats and having to get up every two minutes for people going to/from the rest room. And it’s hotter than Hades for two-thirds of the season.

    Even if the Bucs become dominant, I’d be perfectly happy with attending one game a year and spending the rest of my time with my 50″ HDTV and my $55 per year RedZone Channel.

  33. Bucfan#37 Says:

    The Yankees have been pouring into Florida decades before I was born here in 1950. Most will always support their home team. Younger fans under say 50 are the majority of ticket buyers. Incomes are limited and stagnated. The economic climate has people weary and unsure of a viable future.

  34. PhantomVash808 Says:

    Who wants to bet if the Bucs somehow drafted Johnny Football Joe writes an article stating season tickets will sell out.

  35. Buc Fan South Tampa Says:

    10 year season ticket holder here. Wasnt too excited to renew, but now that Lovie is coming, damn skippy I will renew. We have adults in charge now.
    Here in Tampa there are about 45k die hard fans who will go to every game. The other 20k fans are the beautiful people who go because its cool (read Pirate Deck). Thats the way it has always been. I dont sweat the attendance. Win games, be competetive, and it will sell out.

  36. oldfart44 Says:

    @Lurker. Define old farts who love nostalgia are afraid of something new and different. 🙂

  37. BoJim Says:

    Lovie may not get us to the SB, but we will soon get some respect.

  38. lurker Says:


    all of florida 😉

  39. lurker Says:

    ps turn your blinker off


  40. Bucfan#37 Says:

    lurker… turn your blinker off. That would be an elderly driver. Old is rapidly approaching no matter your age.

  41. juan0525 Says:

    We need Clowney, if he’s available! Johnny pimp Manziel will gone before we pick!