Wins Won’t Necessarily Bring Sellouts

August 20th, 2010

The crowd at the Bucs' last playoff game foretold a decline in ticket sales that really kicked in during the subsequent 2008 season.

Outside of watching SportsCenter, nothing turns Joe’s stomach like reading bogus information in the newspaper.

So Joe was annoyed while reading a St. Pete Times story Thursday by Stephen Holder about Bucs attendance and blackouts.

It included the following paragraphs:

But as it relates to the Bucs, specifically, they’ve never had a problem drawing when they’re playing well.

If they can get back to that, and do it soon, Raymond James Stadium has a chance to be full yet again.

The facts force Joe to disagree. The Bucs indeed have had trouble drawing when they’re playing well.

The team’s decline in attendance really started strong when Giants fans infested Raymond James Stadium for the Bucs’ last playoff game following the 2007 season. That was a massive, painful red flag to see that huge sea of blue.

Then in 2008, on Mike Alstott Night on Sunday Night Football, the 4-2 Buccaneers had plenty of seats at nearly all prices available via TicketMaster on gameday. Lots of empty seats at kickoff, too. (All those actual attendance records are kept neatly and publicly for all to see.)

Mike Alstott Night!

Joe is quite certain Team Glazer and/or the mystery ticket goblins began eating unsold tickets early in 2008, despite the Bucs’ strong 9-3 start.

A great Bucs start in 2010 will generate lots of wonderful excitement, but Joe doesn’t see anything short of a legitimate playoff run (think 6-4 start at minimum) actually generating a sellout. With this current economy and roster, it’s going to be a long road back to televised games.

24 Responses to “Wins Won’t Necessarily Bring Sellouts”

  1. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    Your right Joe, wins won’t necessarily bring sellouts. But they definately won’t hurt.

  2. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    Oh, and thanks Joe for reminding me of the Buc’s 2007 playoff game vs. the Giants. You have now caused me to have painful flashbacks.

  3. Jerry Says:

    Wasnt Mike Alstott night also the same night that the Rays were in game 7 of the ALCS? That obviously pulled some fans away from that night game.

  4. goodfellajay Says:

    Jerry Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Wasnt Mike Alstott night also the same night that the Rays were in game 7 of the ALCS? That obviously pulled some fans away from that night game.

    Yes it was shhhh dont tell joe that it would hurt his point

  5. Scott Says:

    I think paying $100 for upper deck seats has something to do with it. Tampa is not New York, the average schmo cannot afford the prices. The Glazers have raised them so out of proportion with inflation that they seem way overpriced.

    Plus where is it written that they have some sort of right to sell outs each week? Blackouts were the norm for decades, the weekly sell outs are actually more of an anomaly than empty seats.

  6. pete Says:

    Winning won’t hurt but sellouts and full stadiums are two different things.

    I have attended plenty of sellouts that had plenty of empty seats. And a full stadium (which is much more rare) always is full because of the visiting teams fans.

    Last year I had to buy a seperate ticket for my son to the throwback game with the Packers as I had friends who attended with us. He was in a seperate section. My seats were on the 35 YL in the UD. Even before kickoff he was able to move and sit with us between the 20’s as plenty of seat around me were empty. And that was a sellout.

    I did not renew this year because of one reason. Cost! The $ isn’t rolling in like it once was and 4 seats at $75 each for the nosebleeds between the 20’s. Even if they were winning the cost would be a lot of my budget.

    $300 (just for tickets) for a family of 4 in the nosebleeds or groceries for darn near a month?

    And those fantastic $35 seats are on the East Side (read baking in the sun side) in the UD in the EZ views. If you sat on the West Side there were no ticket decreases whatsoever.

    Never again to be on the hook for $75 tickets I can’t even sell for half of face value unless the opponent is Dallas, Giants, Packers or Steelers. And even then who knows.

    Phooey on the ticket prices.

  7. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    If this team starts winning , I’m not sure what it will do for ticket sells , but I DO know that it will cause hell well to freeze over, and pigs to grow wings….

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Goodfellajay – The Rays game doesn’t hurt Joe’s point. A good Bucs team, a Sunday night game and Mike Alstott Night were up for sale long before the Rays were in the ALCS. Again, it was Mike Alstott Night, with a giveaway. Think about that.

  9. frank Says:

    The 2007 time frame is right. That’s when the epic housing collapse was in full swing after the Bush administration failed to fix the house of cards in front of it. Thanks W. And thank you to the donkey party greed mongers who stood in the way of justice for the American people.

    Our community is still paying the price and I earn about 60 percent than I did before that.

  10. tampa2 Says:

    Hey Joe,
    I wonder if it is a coincidence that malcom Glazer had a stroke and his Sons took over about the beginning of your noted decline.
    When did the bottom fall out on ticket sales? Hmmm. About the time the Glazers fired Chucky and hired an amateur to coach the team? Seems about right. 3-13 will do that for ya!

  11. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    The housing market didn’t crash because the government failed to fix it , it crashed because they were already doing too much , with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mack ( government run ) , and other schemes to get struggling families into housing they couldn’t afford …..Politicians called it “affordable housing” , but the real world called it BAD LOANS , and they encouraged banks to make them.

    How did they solve the problem?? Now they are giving 8,000 dollar tax credits to anyone who will buy a house. Translation: Encouraging more people who can’t afford a house to buy one. Brilliant, LOL.

  12. frank Says:

    Sorry dude. The market did crash because they didn’t fix it before it did. Kind of like Raheem loses games because the scoreboards says so. Widely known on both sides of the aisle that the grim reaper would come calling for all those bad loans. …Affordbility is not the problem in housing anymore. Losing 50 percent or more of value will do that. The tax credit has done a lot of stabilizing. You obviously don’t work in the industry.

    Enough of this. Go Bucs.

  13. Matt Says:

    “If they can get back to that, and do it soon, Raymond James Stadium has a CHANCE to be full yet again.”

    Chance, he said CHANCE. So you’re making a story out of a non-issue. Of course there is a chance 😛

    That being said, I think you’re probably right. 2-1 might not do it.

    But you’re damn sure that a 9-3 record, with a hot franchise QB, would generate a lot more interest than the elderly, pieced-together, little-hope-for-the-future team you referenced in 2008.

  14. admin Says:

    Joe here – Matt, this is the sentence in questions, “But as it relates to the Bucs, specifically, they’ve never had a problem drawing when they’re playing well.” Truth is they have had trouble when the team was good, outlined above.

    And you’re going to tell me that when the Bucs were sitting at 9-3, you thought this was a patched together team of washed up has-beens? Please.

  15. AriToldMeTo Says:

    Why did ticket sales plummet? Because Jon Gruden ran Tony Dungy’s team into the mud.

    Why did the Ownership fire Gruden? Because Gruden wasn’t getting it done, ending a season with 4 loses, barely coaching winning seasons with teams that seemed to get older rather than younger. What is the point of winning with no hope for the future?

    Why is Raheem Morris and Mark Domminic doing a great job? Because they have pieced together two great drafts, a young promising foundation that will lead the Bucs to many, many deep play off runs. This young dynamic duo are the talk of the town. Lots of people are excited about these two bright young men. They may not have won last year early, but once they were able to cut out the Jim Bates cancer, Raheem turned this ship in the right direction. Afterall, Raheem won the last 2 of 3 games last year. He beat the eventual Super Bowl champions, in New Orleans to boot. If you don’t think Raheem’s finish was far and away better than Gruden’s finish in ’08, then you are just not a fan of the Buccaneers.

    Gruden’s last two winning seasons are in fact worse than Raheem’s promising season of 2009. Why? Because there now is hope. And you guys really need to let go and just trust in this foolproof plan the Ownership has in store for the Bucs. Just relax and enjoy the ride. For hope and an honest promise by the management will get Raheem the progress he needs to continue making his mark on this franchise and city.

  16. nick Says:

    Yup, I was at this playoff game. One of the most embarrassing moments in my buccaneer life. We were in the playoffs and yet Bucs fans found a way not to go to the game or sell their tix to Giants fans. No one had any opinion on the ManU thing, or the Glazers spending. And this still happened. Sad.

  17. AriToldMeTo Says:

    Nick, the fans by and large were discouraged by Jon Gruden’s poor track record with handling players, drafting and well, collecting old quarter backs. The town was embarassed of the head coach. Winning wasn’t going to solve the town’s disgust. Jon Gruden was NO Tony Dungy, no sir.

    So now, with all the talent in the world, the Buccaneers and Raheem Morris have no where to go but up. A couple more wins and Raheem will have proven the required progress to get a stamp of confidence from Ownership, to continue this plan of youthful exuberrance (excuse my spelling 🙂 )!

    That playoff game filled with Blue jerseys, really set the tone for this much needed youth movement. And there is no one more cut out for this movement than the General Manager and the current day Head Coach, Mr Raheem Morris. For these youthful leaders understand these younger athletes. They get it. They know exactly how to talk to them and not upset them. They understand them. And even though the overall record of 2009 didn’t seem promising on the surface, when you cut away the Jim Bate’s debacle, and discount some of the tougher, close loses and turn them into opportunities of improvement and promise, that coupled with winning 2 of the last 3, these young guys have these young fully prepaired to grow into NFL ready players sometime this season. The plan is in place, the youth will net us hope. And let me tell you, I’d rather have hope and close games (win or lose) than have Jon Gruden winning with no hope at all!

  18. Jason Says:

    For me it goes back to the 05/06 playoff game vs. Redskins. As with any wildcard game, there were only a few days to get tickets and Will Call was COMPLETELY OVER-RUN with people before the game. A home playoff game and they couldn’t staff more than like 4 windows. My wife and I waited inline the ENTIRE first quarter. When we got to our seats the Bucs were already in a hole and the Skins fans were breaking the wooden flags they passed out. How the Bucs didn’t see this coming and couldn’t staff more windows I don’t know. Left me VERY diappointed. Only been back for a few regular season games since then (from Ft. Myers).

    They wanna sell tickets they should get out of their own way in the ticket/front office.

  19. oar Says:

    Ari, “Because they have pieced together two great drafts,” Great? Really? Possiblly on paper? Let’s see them play first shall we. Even last years players, again. Don’t get me wrong, I hope they excell and show it on game days too, but lets be realistic shall we. I’m sure the Lions fans thought they had great drafts too.

  20. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Frank , keep thinking that government is EVER going to solve your economic problems , much less successfully micro-manage a free-market of billions of people, because it will never happen. Bubbles would be impossible without fiat currency and government created inflation. Educate yourself, fool:

  21. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    This Ari guy, you are one facestious dude, let me tell you. Although, the funny thing is, all the kool-aide drinkers drank it all up.

    But no way will anyone take that bait.

  22. Sean Says:

    I recently was contacted about my intentions to travel to Tampa for games through a team rep on Facebook. My support for the team is unquestionable, as I watch religiously, and have an office decked out in red,pewter and orange (my wife avoids it like crazy)…….. My reason for lack of attendance to RJ for games is simply cost. For us to go, we have to load up a car with us, the kids and travel 6 hours just get there……. 2 adults, 5 kids with decent tix at $75 apiece is already past $500……then food gas, overpriced soveneirs,before you know it, close to$1000 for 3 to 4 hours. Not bad if I make the league minimum, but I make about12% of what the WORST guy on either team will make….. so imagine the hard working guy making less than me who can either buy groceries and gas OR go to RJ for the game experience. These days, that is really a no brainer

  23. Matt Says:

    Joe, look at the skill position starters in 2008:
    Jeff Garcia, 38
    Antonio Bryant, 27
    Joey Galloway, 37
    Warrick Dunn, 33
    Jerramy Stevens, 28

    Kevin Carter, 35
    Ryan Sims, 28
    Chris Hovan, 30
    Derrick Brooks, 35
    Cato June, 29
    Ronde Barber, 33
    Phillip Buchanon, 28

    Aside from Barber, Brooks, and maybe Bryant, which of those players were potential Pro Bowlers to be excited about? Which did you think then might be on the team in 2010?

    I’ll wait.

    Our starting roster was filled with players who were either on their second or third team (everyone but Brooks and Barber), at the twilight of their career (Garcia, Galloway, Dunn, Brooks, Carter, Barber) or who were obviously marginal players who may not start elsewhere (Stevens, Sims, Hovan, June, Buchanon).

    The only hope for the future in 2008 was Talib, Jackson, and the promising offensive line (which is still just ‘promising’). Mostly, it was ‘well, Gruden is a good coach, he’ll figure something out’.

    I’d take the 2010 roster over the 2008 roster any day, not just because of talent, but also because of promise for the future, which the 2010 roster has.

  24. Matt Says:

    The worst thing about this site is that if a post isn’t on the front page, it pretty much dies :-/