Time To Change Blackout Rules

June 18th, 2009
A packed house like this at the CITS might be a rare sight this season.

A packed house like this at the CITS might be a rare sight this season.

Seemingly everywhere — but JoeBucsFan.com — one can run into an ad from the Bucs offering, begging, pleading with fans to buy tickets.

Why, the Glazer Boys are so desperate for people to buy tickets, they are even offering four-game packages. This ploy is unbelievable to Joe.

The Bucs are hardly the lone team to struggle to sell ticket sales. So is Jacksonville. So is one of the hottest teams in the NFL, Atlanta. This doesn’t really surprise Joe in that Atlanta is by far the most brutal sports town in America (close second is Miami).

Hell, unless the Georgia Bulldogs or Florida State Seminoles play Georgia Tech, or the Braves are in a World Series, a sellout game (in any sport) is about as rare in that town as frost is in Sarasota. Just a rotten sports town.

Due to so many teams having a rough time with ticket sales in this ugly economy — as an acquaintance of Joe’s once told him: when times are tough, home and family win out every time over recreation — Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com suggests the NFL needs to adjust its blackout rules.

Otherwise, quite a few Bucs fans will be force fed the Dixie Chicks this year on Fox.

I understand why the blackout rules are there, and I do believe in them, but for this one season it wouldn’t hurt to amend them some.

Maybe lower the number of tickets that need to be sold each week, or something along those lines. The blackout rules don’t apply to luxury seating — which is a good thing because those are even tougher to sell in a tough economy — but it could be revised down to a different percentage of the general seating.

I asked Greg Aiello, the league’s senior vice president of public relations, if the league was giving any thought to changing the policy.

In an e-mail response, he replied: “There is no consideration being given to it. The policy is important in supporting the ability of the clubs to see tickets and keeping our games attractive as television programming with large crowds so we can keep all our games on free TV.”

This is a very short-sighted attitude. After a few blackout games, if the team is doing lousy, it will hurt the team. Few will buy tickets and the Bucs will have limited opportunity of marketing their team to a vast local audience.

BTW, if anyone in the Bucs marketing department is reading, Joe will be happy to help. E-mail Joe at joe@joebucsfan.com and we’ll talk turkey. Joe promises his rates are much cheaper than TBO.com, tampabay.com or any radio station that gets (officially) zero ratings, or one that had a ditz of a traffic reporter try to cook the Arbitron books.

6 Responses to “Time To Change Blackout Rules”

  1. JK Says:

    Joe, it seems to me you have given up on the season before it starts. Winning is the only thing that sells seats in Tampa. You are already worried about watching the game on tv. The fans got what they wanted, a new coach and new direction for the Bucs. Now live with what you wished for.

  2. RastaMon Says:

    yah…. shouldn’t have given uo your season tix’s Band Wagon Joe

  3. frye Says:

    I’m missing the giving up the tickets part. That’s not in the story. …Blackouts are good, imo. You want to watch. Buy a ticket, or drive to Orlando and go to a sports bar

  4. RastaMon Says:

    awhile back Joe offered he gave up his season tickets in a tiff……

  5. Joe Says:

    RastaMon is right.

    Joe had season tickets for a number of years but a lousy seat. Joe for years requested an upgrade to the lower bowl — anywhere, even if it cost Joe $1,000.

    Joe got tired of getting yanked around so three years ago he gave them up. Now the Bucs are begging for people to buy tickets. Maybe they should have taken care of the customers they had (at the time)?

  6. dave Says:

    Love the dig on the ditz reporter. What a freakin’ AWFUL radio show. I’m amazed that garbage is still on the air. Bring back Fenton!