Bucs Make Plea For Community Support

September 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.

39 Responses to “Bucs Make Plea For Community Support”

  1. Charlie B Says:

    The cheap tickets sold out, right? That’s a good indication that the demand is there, the price point isn’t.

  2. bucobruce Says:

    I guess l will be listening to it old shool,radio style.This time I do not blame the Glazers I blame the fans on this one.

  3. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “…the scourge of fantasy football…”

    I completely agree. Fantasy football along with video games (especially Madden) have ruined certain aspects of following the game, and have turned a portion of fans into whining idiots who think they are GM’s or head coaches. “Scourge” was a perfectly chosen word.

  4. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    bucobruce Says: September 5th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    “I guess l will be listening to it old shool,radio style.This time I do not blame the Glazers I blame the fans on this one.”

    And there is the exact problem. The economy has already started improving (compare todays unemployment in Florida to a year or two ago). The problem is fans are so busy blaming others for not buying tickets that they are not buying tickets themselves.

    You yourself said you would listen to the radio.

    I know the excuses that we cannot aford tickets…I think that’s a crock for most people using the excuse. Most expect others to make the sacrifice. I ran into this a year ago when I went without gas to cook with in order to buy a ticket to each game in order to do my part…even though I cannot attend games.

    Apparently no one else wanted to make the sacrice…they all expected others to.

    So forgive me if I offend…but until fans are willing to make the investment regardless of how hard it is, we will not be seeing home games on live tv.

    And don’t count on internet streaming. In the past month or so multiple sites have been shut down, even those in other countries. Streams are being shut down more quickly as well.

    It’s time to make sacrifices…but will Tampa fans actually do it?

  5. lightningbuc Says:

    Joe,

    The Trib article states they are 9,000 short of a sellout. Is that 9,000 short of a total sellout or 9,000 short of the 85% threshhold?

  6. Bucnjim Says:

    The Bucs have done a fantastic job of getting back out into the community. They’ve lowered ticket prices as well as setting up 12 month payment plans to help everyone afford to go to the games. They must have hired a new marketing director because they’ve done a complete turnaround. The problem is the damage has already been done through years of if you don’t like it see you later. It’s just going to take time to get the trust of the fans back. All the NFL owners are learning you can’t have that smug attitude when the economy is bad & TV is better than ever.

  7. lightningbuc Says:

    Dutcher,

    You gave up gas used for cooking purposes to buy a Bucs ticket to every game which you didn’t even attend? It’s just a game dude!

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    Pete,

    You’re right, but keep in mind that more than 50% of the people who live in this area aren’t even Bucs fans. I work for a company with 70 employees & there may be 20 of us who are hard core Bucs fans. The rest are either fans of other teams or what I would call social fans who would go to the games if it were the trendy thing to do. The Bucs still need to do a better job of getting out into these middle class neighborhoods and pushing their product better.

  9. D-Rome Says:

    The Dali Museum is worth seeing at least once.

  10. Joe Says:

    lightningbuc:

    9000 shy of the 85 percent threshold.

  11. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Pete,

    Make sacrifices? Seriously? It’s just a game, man. If you’re going without gas in order to buy tickets to games you can’t even attend something is seriously wrong with your list of life’s priorities. It’s no wonder that “fan” comes from the word “fanatic”. Take a step back and get a new perspective on life.

  12. Joe Says:

    Dallas:

    There is a reason NFL teams are spending thousands of dollars to have WiFi for all fans at games. You wouldn’t believe how many people aren’t going to games because they cannot follow their fantasy teams’ progress.

  13. J-VILLBUCS Says:

    I know the Jags used to partner up with Busch and Budwiser to avoid blackouts and Jags Players used to help buy tickets to help lift blackouts. Bucs should think of something similar to that to help.

  14. JBUC24 Says:

    It’s the season opener and we are playing a division rival….pony up people! If I wasn’t halfway across the U.S. you bet I would be there! Start the season off right and support our Bucs!

    Glazer’s have done just about everything they could do. Parking is the only other thing they may be able to help with.

  15. TempcoPest Says:

    We have been making the 5 hour round trip from Fort Myers for the last 12 years. We have a total of four seats. The game is not blocked here and we still make the trip. Many time I have been disapointed in our teams direction but still made the trip. I see a lot of good things at One Buck Place…..I wish more locals could help fill the seats.

    No more excuses….Buy a Fricken ticket!

  16. jim Says:

    Bottom line, the owners are greedy and pro-athletes are overpaid. I have had season tickets since 1978. My endzone seats back then were $8.00 each! Today the same seats are $91.00. My income has increased over the years but not over 1000% like the price of tickets. Workers in most every industry have experienced pay cuts or very small raises. Yes most players only have a short career but should they be ‘set for life financially’by working only a few years?

  17. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe,

    Wasn’t aware of that, probably because I feel the same way about fantasy football as you do about Rosie O’Donnell. But at least it shows the Glazers are finally going balls-to-the-wall to garner community support for the team. I can respect that.

  18. bucobruce Says:

    Dutcher, I have been going to atleast 2-3 games a year,Im a hard core buc fan,Im not whining but this year I have come across some real hard times I just had surgery on both my knees acl and mcl on the right knee and acl on left knee.I have been out of work for 8 months I had no insurance .I have to spend what little I get from family and spend it on my kid.So please know what your talking about before spiting some crap out.I actuaaly agree with most of your statments when it comes to the bucs.I get food stamps and for a week now I have been offering to cook wings and burgers for a ticket.

  19. RustyRhino Says:

    Back when there was a 100k waiting list for season tickets, times where good, people had a few dollars to blow over the.weekend. Those times are gone for most of us. I am a proud Bucs fan but like most folks around the country I am trying to live on 8.50 an hour 30-35 hrs a week. That does not leave any for pleasure for a family of 4. So we can not all afford to buy tickets to a football game. Such is life in America these days.

  20. Miguel Grande Says:

    I think the Joes are on to something. It used to be that attendance was the largest revenue stream. It’s not anymore. With the new TV contracts, the teams are profitable before the first performance.

    With advertising, marketing and licensing they have fantastic revenue streams that didn’t exist to that extent before.

    Professional football has changed and so should the business model. It is more important that the games are televised locally than selling every seat at a premium price.

    The face painter’s are just extras on a film set. Some of the more prominent, get free tickets and travel expenditures. To fill the stadiums, which would add to the excitement, in some markets stadium seats should sell for a lot less. Maybe, $25 average price. That would allow a young man to take his girl friend and some friends while getting a good seat.

    I used to buy four seats on the 20 five rows up or $11 each. This was a good deal all around and built fan loyalty that has lasted for 36 years. A young family man should be afford to take his wife and 3 children to every game. It’s a win, win situation for everyone.

  21. Colorado Buc Says:

    THE REASON bUCS FANS ARE MOCKED AROUND THE COUNTRY!!

    Population of Tampa Bay 2012- 346,037

    Unemployment 8.8%(rounded to 9) 31,143

    Seats at Raymond James 74,301

    85% capacity 63,155

    9000 to be sold 9,000

    seats taken 54,155

    subtracting the seats taken and the unemployed of the Bay area there is 260,739 people with better things to do on Sunday at 4:25 than go support there local team. You can whine about the economy, but the national unemployment rate is 8.3%, many markets do not have 346,000 in their cities. It’s put up or shut up time Bucs fans, are you a good sports town or not. Good sports towns support their teams when they are down. Ownership answered your calls to spend money, fire the coach, what else is there, but to show up?

    @ColoradoBuc – What are you talking about. Hillsborough and Pinellas Countys alone, have about 2.4 million people. Then add the surrounding counties and you’re looking at a 3 million+ metro market, and a it’s top 20 TV market based on population data used by Nielsen. –Joe

  22. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    FLBoyInDallas said it best… I was going to say essentially the same thing… but why? So here is what he said:

    “Make sacrifices? Seriously? It’s just a game, man. If you’re going without gas in order to buy tickets to games you can’t even attend something is seriously wrong with your list of life’s priorities.”

    -Perfect.

    Also, @bucobruce, you have been begging for someone to give you a free ticket??? Why would someone want to GIVE you a 35-120 ticket? For a hotdog? I have an extra ticket… but FIRST, I will try to sell it.

    Look man, as soon as the game starts, there will be scalpers trying to unload their tickets… save your $40 dollars and buy one for $25.

    Or, like FLBoy said, if you can’t afford it, BFD. You have other priorities. Listen to the radio, chat on JBF live… watch it later. Come on dude, get your priorities straight.

  23. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Oh and trust me… after watching pirated, low grade video of last year’s games, once the other team got up by 28 in the first quarter, I shut it down anyway. And I said, “Well, I am sure glad I didn’t waste my money on season tickets this year.”

    I said that like 10 times… hmmmmm… correlation?

  24. Colorado Buc Says:

    Joe- I was only using specific city of Tampa statistics to drive the point home. I know it’s a metro with millions within short driving. Kind of sucks even more when you put it that way

  25. Joe Says:

    Colorado:

    Joe has typed the following many times before..

    Comparing the Tampa Bay market, and, say, any rust belt city, is simply apples and oranges if you break down the demographics. Outside of Florida, California and Arizona, northeastern and midwest cities simply don’t have near the number of transplants as Florida has (i.e. non-Bucs fans), much less the number of retirees who simply don’t go to many NFL games.

    The target audience for the Bucs (and Rays and Lightning) is likely 40 percent of the area’s populace, maybe lower.

    Throw in the horrible local economy, your target audience for buying tickets is even slimmer. Besides, both financially and culturally, attendance is more and more trivial (with the exception of the NHL). The wave of American sports fans is not to attend games. The evidence is all over the place. And this trend is not reversing either any time soon.

  26. Colorado Buc Says:

    Even if the target is 40% of the population , as you stated 3mil, it would put the target at 1.2mil needing to fill 20,000 seats for a sell out. I totally agree it has a lot to do with culture and the home football experience…damn the sunday ticket and damn HDTV, and damn air conditioning!! I get it, but it seems that blaming the economy in such a major market is not feasible.

  27. Patrick Says:

    Luckily there’s a sports bar down the street from my house!! No more getting computer viruses from internet streams!!

  28. Patrick Says:

    Economy ain’t getting better for a LONG time…….so the unfortunately the blackouts are going to continue.

  29. Mike J Says:

    J-VILLBUCS, Winn-Dixie too.

  30. Mike J Says:

    I am reminded of the words of the great violinist Isaac Stern, who once said: “If no one wants to come to your concert, nothing will stop them.”

  31. Colorado Buc Says:

    This man is right!!

    “We’re going to do things the right way on and off the field and I think that’s what this area wants,” Schiano said. “That’s the kind of team they want. We’re going to play good football, so we need your help. That can be — and has been — an awesome home-field advantage, that stadium, when it’s packed. The heat, the elements, and the fans — that’s what makes for a home-field advantage. We all want the same thing. At the end of the day we all want championships, and we can all be a part of it.”-Greg Schiano press conference

    It is also posted up on PFT if you want to read some of the comments. Maybe it will put you in a seat Sunday.

  32. Tbuc Says:

    Too many people “from” somewhere else and the fans who actually claim to be fans only want to support a winner. Bad sports city.

  33. Bucnjim Says:

    If you think it’s just Tampa that has a problem You’re crazy! Sure Tampa is lacking the corporate business to buy up large chunks of seats, but if you’re looking for local support or just butts in the seats it’s a league wide problem. I’m sure most of you now have the Red Zone or watch highlights for your fantasy team. Just take a look around the league to see how many people are actually in the stadium watching the game. Maybe not the opening day, but watch closely and you’ll say wow; there is hardly anyone there. Sure you have the Packers, Bears, Giants, etc…, but watch most other smaller market teams and you’ll see 2/3 capacity if that.

  34. JMatUCF51 Says:

    I went to the Home game last year against Carolina, and it was a disaster. It hurt me to watch that game. Now I will be going to the game this Sunday, and im also bringing my sister and gf. Were coming from the Sarasota area. I think things will be different this time around. I believe in this team and coach Schiano. I know they will show up to play, and I will be right there pulling for them. Go BUCS!

  35. espo Says:

    I am not one of those people. I will be in the North Endzone every game and I will travel once, maybe twice for my team. I live for this. The rest of the year is lame in comparison. I was born and raised here and the Bucs are in my blood no matter their record or how douchy the Glazers treat us. Why would I punish myself just to make a billionaire a few bucks poorer? I dig the sweat and have withdrawals when I go too long without cannons blasting my ear drums.

  36. TheRealVince Says:

    I’ll be making the journey from Ft. Myers as well, as I do every year to support my team. GO Bucs

  37. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    bucobruce,
    I used “we” and “fans” so that you wouldn’t feel singled out.

    To others
    Yes I went without gas to cook with…and I clearly did not buy from scalpers as that does not help prevent blackouts.

    That doesn’t mean I starved. I have a microwave, crockpot and George Forman Grill. ;)

    I fed a family of 4 for three months without gas. And it would have been worth it IF other fans had done it too. I live only 50 miles from Tampa, but due to health issues I can’t attend…yet. Hope to be pass my issues by next season though…if I have the guts to go through multiple surgeries on my spine.

  38. Sgt Mike Says:

    Winning cures all. I think we have a fresh start with the new Schiano order. As he equates his philosophy to at least a few wins and maybe a few heart breaker losses I think the fans will be back. Nobody wants to be broke AND paying to watch a losing team with an overpriced beer and soft pretzel in the hand…… NOBODY! Only wish I was local to at least catch one or two games a year. Go Bucs!

  39. RP Says:

    Joe six pack wants better beer and mixed drinks (mixed drinks are only available in the club section $450 a seat). Joe six pack is getting more sophisticated and the endless counters full of Bud and Bud Light, not to mention frozen hamburger patties, shoe string fries and chicken fingers) at premium prices are a turn off. The 12 oz premium beers are relegated to the corners of the stadium. You’ll miss a few series for that courtesy. Put some better food and drink concessions in the concourses that feel like a parking garage. If the Glazers are restricted by the current concession contracts, I’ll probably get to one game this year and drink ice water, if I can get it.

 
 

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