Joel Glazer Suspects There May Be Blackouts

March 24th, 2010

Whenever one of the members of Team Glazer peeks from behind their normal cloak of secrecy, it’s news.

So it was both interesting and troubling that Bucs president Joel Glazer told eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune that Bucs fans may want to brace themselves for blackouts if they are not going to cough up cash for tickets.

Last year there were no sellouts. Oh sure, technically all home games were sellouts, largely due to the generosity of Team Glazer who likely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure  games were sold out, thereby allowing them to be broadcast locally.

The Buccaneers have not suffered a home blackout since Raymond James Stadium opened in 1998. Every game was televised in the local market last season, despite Tampa Bay’s 3-13 record and thousands of empty seats at most home games.

“I’d say this is the first year in many years that we expect we could very well have blackouts, based on where we’re at,” Glazer said during a lengthy interview on the final day of the NFL owners meetings.

“We hope that’s not the case, but where we sit today, we don’t want people to be necessarily surprised because we haven’t had this in 15 years, but we’re staring at the possibility for the first time in a decade and a half of having games blacked out in our local market. It’s not what we want and we are working very hard to try and see that it doesn’t happen, but it is a real possibility.”

Joe has written this before and will write it again: One of the reasons — not the sole reason — for the Bucs (and Bolts and Rays) not selling tickets is this locally economy is in the dumps. The unemployment rate has pushed into the mid-teens. Many who do have jobs are stuck working weekends.

People are hurting. They are fighting to save their houses. They are fighting to pay their mortgages. They are working two if not three jobs, provided they can find jobs.

Dropping (at best) $40 to go to a Bucs game, no matter how much you want to and no matter how much fun you may have, when you don’t know if you can pay the mortgage, well, that decision is a no-brainer.

Oh, and consider that the Rays have yet to sell 30,000 tickets to their season opener, that’s all one needs to know how rotten the local economy is.

People just don’t have the cash to go to games. It’s that simple.

14 Responses to “Joel Glazer Suspects There May Be Blackouts”

  1. Louie Says:

    I’m sure it has nothing to do with the quality of the product on the field.

    …it’s kind of hard to get excited for a 3-13 team that has done NOTHING to improve.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    No offense to any owner or player, but when you pay millions of dollars to an athlete to play a game, then pay the next “great player” more, it becomes an endless cycle. Endless until you have a lock-out or strike and things get financially reset – a little. Hence, the position all sports are in now. I LOVE football, but come on, 100 million dollar contracts? Really?
    The next CBA should correct that and should. Salary caps should have a formula in part based on the economy of the country as well as the league which, in turn, should have a mandatory, direct relation to ticket prices…a ticket price cap if you will. There should also be a set, tiered, rookie cap based on draft selection. That would speed up the contract signings and cut down on hold-outs.

  3. Chuck Says:

    The NFL is part of the free enterprise system. Athletes are paid a great deal of money becasue they bring in a great deal of money. College sports do this with their coaches. Do you think any Prof is making 1 million or more? I highly doubt it. Sports is big business. I believe it is the economy more than last years record effecting fans. I have several friends that down graded their season tickets, and none of them did this because of the product. They are still season ticket holders, but at a lower price. Each one also said that the sales people at 1 Bucs place are willing to negotiate and have some wiggle room. I agree the amount of money players make is crazy, but it is what it is…a huge money making enterprise.

  4. JS Says:

    You mean we might be spared from watching the home games this year? Hallelujah!

    I won’t spend one more cent on them until they sell the team or they demonstrate a commitment to win and stop having the lowest payroll in the league.

    Screw them.

  5. thomas Says:

    be honest joe.

    many like my group are not renewing after 20 yrs solely to protest the glazers and the bozos they put in charge of this org.

    if u disagree – ask this question: would we still be anticipating blackouts if cowher were named the coach? or gruden or dungy for that matter? obviously no b/c there were no non-sellout under their tenures. i rest my case.

  6. Jake Says:

    The Glazers have no one to blame but themselves. They created this situation and only they can fix it. Improve the product on the field, give your fans some real hope instead of false promises. Do the right thing for once.

  7. JDouble Says:

    The Glazers said alot of very important things today that every fan should here, not just this one thing about blackouts.

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JDouble – It’s nice that you’re looking out for your fellow Bucs fans. As you know, Joe takes on one issue at a time and will get to all the notable Glazer comments point-by-point.

  9. RahDomDaBest Says:

    You know… I am really starting to srsly think that the Glazers want to move the Bucs form our market… and they are doing all this to justify it.

  10. RahDomDaBest Says:

    Or getting ready to sell.

  11. DAve Says:

    As a real fan, not those on here just trashing the owner or the team every chance they get, I will be disappointed if there are blackouts.

    I get being mad about the spending situation and some of it is valid, but some of what the glazers is valid as well. It is not so cut and dry.

    Some of you argue about Gruden peicing together crap for years to keep the team around .500. True they did that, but the bottom line is a purge had to happen so they could build a core again. They might have done it the wrong way (Brooks) but they drafted poorly and did not have good or alot of draft picks for years.

    I am not trying to make excuses. The Glazers need to spend money and realize that free agency should be apart of this rebuilding. The bottom line, though, is with the impending lock out, they are not going to spend until that is resolved. From a business standpoint, they shouldn’t either. Hopefully it is resolved and then the Glazers will be in a great position salary cap wise when the best free agent class in 15 years comes along.

    I know that is optimistic, but better than just coming on here and bashing them and whining and complaining all the time.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    “As a Real Fan…” LOL !!!

    Wait until after the draft and the bandwagon starts rolling.

    It’s almost time to circle the Wagons. Get the women and children in the center, and Lock and Load.

    C’mon Engines!!! Get Some!!! YeeHaww!!!!

  13. Johnny D. Says:

    Actually, I think Blackouts are a good idea. This area has gotten complacent with ticket purchases for all of our teams. Why bother with the “hassle” of going to a game when you can watch from the comfort of your living room?

    I’m sure there are plenty of people in the Greater Tampa Bay Area that can afford to purchase tickets to games. Those who stay home and watch on TV are simply freeloaders. If you’re a fan, support the team by buying tickets and going to the games!!!

  14. legion3 Says:

    Tickets cost too much. 4 tickets at the very top of the stadium between the 20’s will cost a family of 4 $3000. $75 for seat in row DD.

    True the $35 corner top seats would only set you back $1400 but still…its a lot of money.

    I can live with the Bucs being losers, been there done that! But then the tickets cost far less. When it was cheap to watch them lose, no big deal. If it were still cheap or at least cheaper I would still go to the stadium next year with season tickets and watch them lose but not this year and not at these prices.