Actual Attendance Still Struggling

December 1st, 2009

"All these empty seats add up to a lot of lost revenue. We'll have to cut back on payroll."

Back on October 18, the local and national media were all buzzing about the Bucs’ actual in-stadium attendance against the Carolina Panthers. The total was a mere 42,847, about 20,000 less than the announced “sold out” attendance of 62,422.

Official stadium capacity is 65,857.

Part of the buzz that day was the Bucs falling short of the in-stadium attendance of a University of South Florida football game just three days earlier, which drew 55,073 fannies in the seats.

So what happened next? The answer isn’t a pretty one for the Glazer Boys.

The Bucs have played two home games since.

On the heralded Lee Roy Selmon/Ring of Honor day against the Green Bay Packers, the actual attendance was just 53,599, per the Tampa Stadium Authority, the public entity that manages Raymond James Stadium.

The mark was still shy of the USF game total, despite massive hype, a gorgeous day, and a historic moment for the franchise.

Next up was the undefeated Saints facing the emerging Josh Freeman and the Bucs. Actual attendance: 49,542.

Now Joe firmly believes attendance is a factor in the Glazers decision making process when it comes to keeping Raheem The Dream for the 2010 season.

Bryan Glazer, in one of his rare public appearances in January, said he and his brothers consulted with fans on whether to retain Jon Gruden, reported the St. Pete Times.

Asked further about the community feedback, Glazer said, “Our fans are our stockholders. They’re what we play for — the people in our stadium and the ones that watch on TV. That’s what it’s all about: winning and how they feel about the team. If they don’t feel good about the team, then there’s something wrong. . . I think you all know the sense that’s out there. It was time for a change.”

In the quote above, Glazer specifically mentioned the “people in the stadium.” Why wouldn’t the Glazers use attendance as a referendum on the head coach over the final two home games? It’s very reasonable to assume they will.

If Bucs fans are excited by what Raheem The Dream is doing with the team down the stretch, it’s fair to assume actual attendance will increase. Especially considering it’s common knowledge that a good pair of Bucs tickets can be had these days outside the stadium for a mere $35.

4 Responses to “Actual Attendance Still Struggling”

  1. tb_buc Says:

    Joe, I think the Glazer’s believed if they fired Gruden and hired Morris the attendance would either improve or at least stay the same, I aso think this was one of only a few mistakes they have made. We all understand that the Glazer’s lack of financial support (appropriate use of the Salary Cap) is a big reason this team has struggled both this season and before, but if you are the Glazers what makes more sense, spending 20 to 30 million a year more to maintain attendance, or not spend that money and lose maybe 15 million in revenue? They made an initial investment in this business, built it up and now the value has peaked, they cannot increase the value of the franchise by throwing cash at it. This is an investment for the Glazers, if you forget about winning and losing games, their decisions make financial sense. Hopefully they will sell this team to an Owner that actually is as interested in winning as they are making money.

  2. Louie Says:

    If the fans are the stockholders, can we vote to throw out the Glazers? They are the #1 cause for the decline of the team. Unfortunately, these clowns are going have to make some good decisions to fix the team — hopefully by hiring some experienced football people. They had that in Gruden and Allen, but apparently listened to disgruntled fans and the local hacks in the media and threw out the baby with the bath water.

    A lot of people are saying the Bucs won’t fire Morris because of Gruden’s contract and the labor issues. But, I think they won’t be able to afford to keep Morris. They are losing millions with all those empty seats in the stadium. The Glazers are going to have to generate some excitement to stimulate ticket sales. Bring Morris back won’t get it done.

    Fans won’t return until the Bucs start winning — period. A lot of people aren’t willing to risk the money and their Sunday afternoon to risk watching the team stink up the place. Why pay to torture yourself?

  3. Bil Says:

    Sure the fans are “stockholders”. Just non voting stockholders.

  4. Tye Says:

    I have conversed with many other fans that have said that they will absolutely refuse to renew their season tickets this next off season with the Bucs staying the way that they are. Many seem to believe that as long as Morris is HC this franchise doesn’t stand a chance and I for one can’t argue with them. It is going to take someone with much football experience and GOOD judgement of talent and leadership to transform this team into winners again. Morris hasn’t shown any of these qualities. The Glazers brothers have put this franchise in a mess this season with this decisions.