Everything’s Rosy In Houston

September 2nd, 2010

As the Bucs are in Houston to take on the Texans tonight, Joe was sniffing around the Houston Chronicle and found an interesting nugget.

Joe wanted to publish this because he’s read so many comments from readers here stating how every NFL team is struggling in this economy.

It seems the Texans, in a TV market nearly identical in size to Tampa Bay, are having great success and setting all kinds of new records.

As of Tuesday, the Texans had sold 64,355 season tickets, an increase from 2008 when they set a season high with 64,047. … The Texans increased ticket prices after last season, but they’ve still sold a record number. Now their preseason ratings for the first three games have increased significantly, too, by about 35 percent.

Joe’s not going to play amateur economist here and start comparing unemployment figures and spending habits in Tampa and Houston. But Joe is quite certain that an unquestionably promising football team in Tampa would cure all the Bucs attendance woes.

41 Responses to “Everything’s Rosy In Houston”

  1. McBuc Says:

    Joe, I travel to Houston on business several times a year. Their economy seems better than ours, but I agree with you 100%. Once the Bucs start winning, or at least look like they have a shot at winning, we will not be watching home games on FOX.

  2. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    “…The bottom line is that fans, like players and coaches, expect the Texans to have their best season and make the playoffs for the first time even though they’re tied with Tennessee for the toughest schedule in the league…”

    …Playoffs for the first time… that is something to be excited about for sure.

  3. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    lol – and I hope you guys didn’t miss this nugget…


  4. JimBuc Says:

    Joe you don’t need to be an economist, you just need to be able to count, Houston is one of the most populated cities in the U.S. Or, you could count this:Houston had 9 wins last year.

  5. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc- I went out of my way to say that Houston and Tampa Bay are very similar sized TV markets, which they are.

  6. Nick P Says:

    I’m not sure how tv markets are defined, but based on population, the Houston-metro area is 5.7 million, Tampa-st. Pete is 2.7 million. Otherwise known as less than half the size. Just the facts.

  7. marknspar Says:

    Joe, Houston is the 4th largest city in the country with over 4 million folks. And Texas is the healthyest state in the union

  8. marknspar Says:

    How can they have the same size TV market?

  9. tha truth is... Says:

    @ JimBuc

    I also agree, we all kno wins fills seats. Another reason we got so many empty seats is because they released DB and Dunn, who are very active in tha community. That really left a sour taste in peoples mouths especially mine.

    @ Not A Rocket Surgeon

    Man thats 2 funny. How can they sue when even tha dumbest of tha dumb kno that electricity can and will KILL u

  10. Nick P Says:

    Did some more research, looks like Houston’s tv market is only defined by the city itself, not taking into account the vast suburban population surrounding. Tampa was defined as the whole metro area, st Pete and Sarasota included. Numbers are heavily skewed in our favor.

  11. Ian Says:

    According to Wikipedia, the Houston metro area has roughly twice the population of the Tampa-St.Pete metro area. That has to count for something, right?

  12. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    You folks are going to have to more research on the TV markets.

  13. Joe Says:

    Before doing research, Joe also though Houston was the No. 4 TV market. After doing research, Joe learned Houston is the No. 10 TV market in the country.

    Here are two sites confirming this.



    The first one has the Tampa Bay TV market at No. 13, the second has the Tampa Bay TV market to be No. 12.

  14. McBuc Says:

    It really does not matter. Joe’s real point is that people will find the money if the team is winning.

  15. Nick P Says:

    It doesn’t really matter if Nielsen has decided to equate our area with that of Houston ( for whatever inane reason). People go to games, not television sets.

  16. oar Says:

    So what you guys are saying is, if we had a bigger population in the Tampa-St Pete area the stadium would soldout????? Now that’s too funny!

  17. oar Says:

    oops…would “be” soldout…

  18. Nick P Says:

    ‘oar’… Umm, yeah.

  19. pete Says:

    Winning would help. No doubt.

    It would take the sting out of both the 3rd deck top row $75 tickets and the east side all day in the sun $35 tickets.

    Oh and those $35 suntan seats are not sold out either…hmmm.

    When the Bucs were the Bucs, circa 1980-1995 some of the charm of losing was that $18 tickets could be had, thus you felt not cheated by a less than fantastic product.

  20. Dre Says:

    Lived my first 25 years in Houston and the last 20 here. It really comes down to how you want to count the surrounding areas and how far you want to go. Houston’s got 2 million people, but there’s massive sprawl, and there’s well over 2 million in just Pinellas and Hillborough County, which are close to the stadium. And being a Latino, I’ll say Houston has way more Latinos who don’t give a crap about football. It’s an interesting comparison with the demographics and the “things to do” argument you hear all the time around here. The Astros aren’t considered a “big market” team.

  21. JimBuc Says:

    Joe, what does the size of the TV market have to do with the population and the attendance at games?

  22. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    JimBuc – Going to respectfully pass on this debate. Joe values his hairline too much.

  23. Nick P Says:

    Joe, sorry to cause you heart burn on gameday. Love the product! Keep up the good work!

  24. oar Says:

    Nick, Yeah right! Not sure how we soldout all those years in a row and had a waiting list, then? Damn, too bad the extra population moved away from two years ago, LOL!

  25. Joe Says:

    Thanks Nick P! Appreciate the compliments.

    Nah, no heartburn.

  26. JimBuc Says:

    The reason we have so many empty seats?

    1. The economy – no job, no ticket
    2. The product — it currently sucks
    3. The market — Tampa is not exactly a hard core sports market
    4. The NFL — http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/01/nfl-ticket-sales-expected-to-fall-to-lowest-level-since-1998/
    5. HDTV — need I say more
    6. Supermarkets — sell much cheaper beer
    7. Dominos — deliver much cheaper pizza

    Why are we talking about this?

  27. JimBuc Says:

    No worries Joe. Did not intend to turn it into a debate. I just made one comment about the difference in the cities and I come back and there is all this talk about television? Don’t understand the relevance, but no big deal.

    I don’t think it is fair to say that EVERY NFL team is struggling, but there is no doubt that the stadium experience is not what it used to be due to price, tvs etc.

  28. JimBuc Says:

    oar — not that funny actually. The Jets were long one of the most pathetic teams in the NFL and yet they filled the stadium. Patriots used to do well when they sucked and Foxboro is 45 minutes outside the city. The Cubs have done well for years despite years of suckage. More people can = sellouts for bad teams. Don’t think it would necessarily work that way for the Bucs, but more people definitely helps.

  29. Nick P Says:

    Oar, just a numbers game. We blow up to the size of Mexico City (20 M+), we sell out 65,000 seat ray jay. Didn’t say before HOW MUCH we’d have to grow. So, rest assured, no black outs in 2137.

  30. oar Says:

    JimBuc, Not sure? Maybe, on your 5th post on it, you can tell us?

  31. oar Says:

    Sure thing guys. What the hell was I thinking?

  32. JimBuc Says:

    Uh . . .oar . . maybe on your 5th post you can . . explain what you mean? Tell you what?

  33. oar Says:

    JimBuc, you said “Why are we talking about this?” at the end of one of your posts. I just thought it was funny question, yet you kept posting. No biggie!

  34. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    And to sum uo this whole thread…..

    Don’t mess with texas!

  35. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Joe, Houston does not share Tampa’s bad economy, plus, they have an emerging team with a QB who led the league in Passing Yards. Remember also Houston LOST it’s team when the Oilers left to become the Titans ? These people appreciate an NFL team, especially since they lost one. a Far cry from the bandwagon Buc Fans

  36. Poppy Says:

    I can tell you first hand guys,as a recent transplant to Houston. There are very little signs of any recession in Houston. Its Radio Market #4….not sure about TV.
    In addition to the Texans coming off of their first winning season,people just have more discretionary income. Everything is cheaper here than in Tampa Bay. Gas,electricity,homes(incredibly cheaper), food,cable TV…its all cheaper…..if I save 20 bucks a month from each of those….chances are,Im buying a ticket to the Texans game.
    I miss the heck out of Tampa Bay,but my creditors think the move was a brilliant idea!
    Go Bucs!!

    – Dave

  37. Mr. Lucky Says:

    One BIG difference between the Texans and the Bucs – the Texans have had much better draft picks and players in the past few years. Let’s face it Matt Schaub is one of the top 5 QB’s but most have never heard of him – Great pick for fantasy football. Plus there’s Mario Williams, Andre Johnson, and others…

    The Texans are about 5 years ahead of where the Bucs are now. The main difference is that the Texans are in the same division as the Colts…

    I’ll take the under on this game.

  38. Miguel Grande Says:

    ” Nick P says: I’m not sure how tv markets are defined, but based on population, the Houston-metro area is 5.7 million, Tampa-st. Pete is 2.7 million. Otherwise known as less than half the size. Just the facts.”

    If you extrapolate those numbers 45,000 tickets sold would mean 95,000 tickets sold. Latins love football, I think they might prefer Los Cowboys!

  39. Patrick Says:

    Houston is the 4th largest city in the country so of course they’ll have more fans. It also has one of the best economies in the country, Tampa has one of the highest unemployment rates. Tampa is not that huge of a city, but the sports scene is pretty good for the size.

    Right now, Texas has the best economy in the nation. It’s growing like crazy, especially in the Houston area. I live in San Antonio, which is about 2.5 hours to the west of Houston, and it’s the same way here. SA is the 7th largest city in the country and it’s getting bigger every year, but we still have a pretty small metro population at about 2,000,000 million people, less than Tampa-St. Pete actually. That’s a big reason why we only have one professional team…. the Spurs. There’s always talk about San Antonio possibly getting an NFL team, but it seems like LA has the upper edge in that contest. Back in the 1990’s, there was a stadium built for professional football in the downtown area, but the city never got a team. Instead the expansion franchise got awarded to Jacksonville.

  40. BigMacAttack Says:

    TV market, yeah maybe but, Houston is #4 in Population and when you add the entire area outside the city limits, it doubles. Joe you are partially right as your bogus research says, but as far as people to buy tickets, you aren’t even close. If you expand the radius you lose by even more as Dallas/Ft Worth is the #5 Population, & San Antonio is #7.

    Now if all the Slimeballs and Criminals that were transplanted to Houston after Katrina, would leave, it would be helpful.

    Joe never admits he’s wrong. Even when he is wrong, he’ll find some Raheem language to make it so he seems to be right.

  41. Pruritis Ani Says:

    Heck yeah. I live in Houston and the fans here are pretty rabid about the team. It’s been tough for me to have any sort of allegiance here, but I try.

    Here’s what I see. Remember the feeling everyone had when the Malcolm et al purchased the team? There was excitement in the community and the fans believed that the new owners were committed to winning and spending money for players. That is the feeling that I think is pervasive here in Houston.

    A couple of other posters have mentioned that it is cheaper to live here. It is much cheaper in terms of home prices, taxes, insurance etc. So yes, there is more disposable income to spend on tickets right now.

    I think however, the problem with sales in Tampa is not just related to the unemployment rate. For example, Cleveland has a worse unemployment rate and an comparable team but they have already sold out several games, including their home opener.

    It appears at least to me that there is a considerable disconnect between the fans and the team. The owners are going to have to figure out a way to start generating some excitement and lure the fans back to the stadium. Yeah winning will definitely help and erase much of the problem at least temporarily, but there appears to be larger PR issue that has to be repaired if they are to get a fan base like some other cities.

    Think about it, when have you ever heard a Giants fans, or a Patriot’s fan, say “The owners don’t care about the fans” or something along those lines. The owner’s have to fix the problems that they created. Just my opinion.