Are The Glazers “Buying” Unsold Tickets?

October 16th, 2009

Joe found it more than curious, though happy about it, that the Bucs sold out this Sunday’s game with the Panthers.

Joe heard from countless people how Bucs fans were nearly outnumbered by Dallass fans in the season-opener. No surprises, Cowboys fans travel well.

The next home game the Giants and many of their fans from Gotham showed up. Again, no surprise.

But the Bucs are still a horrible team, playing another horrible team from Carolina on Sunday that doesn’t travel well at all. Yet the Bucs still sold out.

Tom Balog of the Sarasota Herald-Review believes the Glazer family is “buying” the unsold tickets.

Maybe the Glazers had to absorb the last few thousands seats, which could have happened, because there were at least a few thousand empty seats in the second level of the stadium for the Giants game, which typically are the last to be sold.

There were even plenty of empty seats in the club level, indicating that even season ticket holders decided not to bother.

It’s hard to imagine that average people bought tickets ahead of the blackout deadline _ and then didn’t bother to show up on Sunday _ just so the game would be shown on local television.

If the Glazer family is indeed buying the tickets — Joe wonders if there’s an NFL rule against that? — it’s beyond a kind gesture by Bryan and Joel. Joe humbly thanks them from the bottom of his heart.

But let’s not be naive, this is a shrewd marketing move. Just think of the capital lost in the area from bars and restaurants if the Bucs are blacked out, not to mention unhappy local advertisers on WTVT-TV? That doesn’t foster much love for the squad.

Also, Joe remembers growing up in the 1970s. He lived within the blackout radius of the then-St. Louis Cardinals, who were beyond putrid. Rarely was a home game ever shown on TV, with the exception of three seasons. Joe remembers the first NFC East division title the Cardinals won in St. Louis came against the Giants, and was blacked out.

As a result, virtually everyone Joe grew up with had a favorite team other than the Cardinals. Dallass, Green Bay, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Los Angeles. Those were the dominant teams (though Green Bay had begun a downward spiral) of the time and those teams seemed to be on TV each weekend.

As a result, that jackass Bill Bidwill literally lost a generation (or two?) of fans who could care less what his team did. Joe remembers being in college when the Cardinals moved to Phoenix. The reaction of the area was pretty much a shrug of the shoulders and attention quickly turned to spring training.

That’s just what Bryan and Joel would be looking at here (again): a return to the Culverhouse Era. Bryan and Joel do not want that to happen again. Bryan and Joel did not and do not want the Bucs to become irrelevent.

21 Responses to “Are The Glazers “Buying” Unsold Tickets?”

  1. Justin Says:

    Then they better do something about it, because this year is a wasted one.

  2. Charkh Says:

    I read an article (maybe here) that the Glazers are just hedging their bets against the 2011 lockout. Minimizing long-term signings and keeping well under the cap, the Glazers are protecting themselves from labor unrest. I’d be willing to bet that once the CBA gets figured out the Glazers start spending again.

  3. Matt Says:

    So the question is, if they’re doing this, what are they doing with the tickets? A reasonable owner would be using his money to purchase some goodwill within the community. Are these tickets being given out to local charities? It seems like we’d hear about it if they were. If they’re not, then why the hell not?

  4. Ian the "Raheemisms" Guy Says:

    I wonder why more teams don’t do what the Jags did and cover up some seats. Whether you cover seats or buy them up yourself, the net result is the same – lost revenue. Right?
    IMO, there shouldn’t be a rule against doing either one.

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    Take the tickets to McDill, Police & Fire Stations.

  6. Joe Says:


    Bryan and Joel are likely donating the tickets to the Glazer Family Foundation, among other charities.


    The tarp stunt is terrible. Looks horrible and is basically a white flag that your franchise is low-rung. If the Glazers are buying the tickets and donating them to charity, it’s a major tax writeoff.

    Can’t do that if you have some awful-looking tarp over a few sections of seats.

  7. Matt Says:

    Joe: If they were donating, say, 1,000-2,000 tickets to their foundation, don’t you think we would hear about it? Don’t you think at least a few people would come forward and confirm this?

  8. Joe Says:


    The Glazers already donate several hundred tickets per game to the Glazer Family Foundation.

    To be honest, Joe doesn’t care if the Glazers use the “bought” tickets to start a bonfire. Joe really can’t complain or point fingers on this issue. If the claim is true, it’s beyond a kind gesture by Bryan and Joel. Joe is very much appreciative of this very generous move.

  9. Matt Says:

    Well I care if they use them. How many people never get to go go a game because of the cost? And how quite is the stadium with empty seats? Full seats help the Bucs. Just seems like a waste on many levels if they don’t get used.

  10. Joe Says:


    Look at the big picture. Now, hundreds of thousands if not millions of local viewers will get to watch the game. Look at how much money the little guy (countless waitresses, bartenders, bar owners, etc.) made by this gesture.

    This is beyond a generous move by the Glazers. Bryan and Joel should be applauded for this, not scorned.

  11. ChuckInJax Says:

    Don’t forget, the Jags stadium seats 85k, while the CITS seats 65k. Even with their crappy looking tarped-over seats, they still have more capacity than CITS. I agree with Joe, as usual…No tarps, black ’em out instead! Oddly enough, there was no need for tarps for the U2 show or the Bulls game last night, and I’m sure the tarps will be gone in JAX for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in a couple of weeks. Common thread, perhaps?

  12. Matt Says:

    Joe: I think you’re missing my point. I absolutely think it’s a great idea if they are buying up the tickets, and commend them for that. It gives the team more exposure and makes them look better by not being embarrassed by not selling out.

    I’m just saying IF they are doing that then they should be quietly giving them away to people who would appreciate the chance to go to the game:

    1) It creates goodwill in the community (if they gave ME free tickets, I’d sure like them a bit more).

    2) It helps the team because they have a louder, more boisterous stadium.

  13. Joe Says:

    Oh, I see your point Matt. The fact the entire Tampa Bay area gets to watch the game is massive goodwill. Massive. The economic impact alone to the entire region is staggering.

    I don’t think this team playing in a soldout out dome with 75,000 screaming drunk fans would help.

  14. Joe Says:


    I don’t recall seeing any tarps at the Gator Bowl when Alabama and Florida State played there either.

  15. Mark Says:

    Im hoping they’re giving themselves an Obama type stimulus to make their books look better for when they hopefully sell the team.

  16. Kryptonite Says:

    Use your brain Joe. Don’t keep making yourself sound foolish.

    Kind gesture, hahahaha. It’s business. The Glazers probably buy these few thousand seats up at some sort of group rate of like 20 percent off, of which they pocket like 50 percent of the gate to begin with.

    The Glazers aren’t giving these unsold few thousands tickets or so away. What they’ve done is reported to the NFL that they are sold. In other words, whatever isn’t sold at gametime they’ve agreed in writing to buy the unsold tickets. Of course, an owners’ word is good for it.

    But you can still buy tickets at Ticketmaster right now. Whatever you need.

    There weren’t many non-club seats left to start the season and those are the only ones that count for a blackout.

  17. Joe Says:


    Of course it’s business, Joe wrote about that in the initial post. Smart business, sure, but it was also a kind gesture.

    The Glazers could have been real dicks and put all of those tickets on StubHub instead of Ticketmaster.

  18. Kryptonite Says:

    Really? Stubhub is much more expensive and less convenient than Ticketmaster.

  19. Joe Says:

    Yup. And, oh by the way, StubHub is an official “partner” (ahem) of the NFL.

  20. Greg Says:

    Joe, if you look at the Bucs website, military members can get up to 4 free tickets by signing up on the website and presenting a military id when they pick them up at the stadium. Not sure how many tickets total are available, but it is a helluva gesture from the Glazers to do so! I was stationed in Jax a few years ago, and the Jags owner would do the same thing for the military up there. This gesture kind of goes with what Matt was saying in giving people who don’t normally have $400 to set aside for tickets to go to a game to now get that opportunity. I personally appreciate their gesture!

  21. JK Says:

    I thought there were 10,000 names on a waiting list to get season tickets. How come they don’t buy them?