“Tent City” Economy Hurting Bucs

October 28th, 2010

Though some of Joe’s readers think otherwise, Joe greatly respects Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, even if Joe often needles him. One of the things Joe respects about King is he does his research (yes, it’s true).

This came through yesterday when he was co-hosting “The Opening Drive” with Ross Tucker, heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio.

The subject of the Bucs came up and Tucker was aghast at the empty seats at the CITS for the Rams game. Unlike far, far, far too many of his northeastern media brethren, like that glorified romper room four-letter network, King understood why there were red seats disguised as fans and didn’t start pointing fingers at fans or the Tampa Bay area as a whole.

Ross Tucker: Peter, there was tons of empty seats, almost full sections empty. Even the lower bowl was empty, I couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t that long ago that the place was packed when Brooks and Sapp played.

Peter King: When you had Brooks and Sapp, you thought you were watching a team that had a chance to go to the playoffs. The Bucs played the Steelers and the Saints at home and lost both games by 25. That’s not going to do much [to draw fans].

I understand the economy is a huge, huge factor there. The unemployment is 13 percent and that’s not counting many who are working any job just to have some income. If you go out of the immediate area just a little bit it’s a virtual Tent City, people are going homeless.

Also, so many people in that area are also invested in college football so you are not going to have a long waiting list for season tickets. But there are so many people there who, frankly, have yet to believe in that team.

Bingo! King summed the entire situation up in just a few sentences. People here are hurting financially. A third of homes are underwater. There are actually examples of people with PhD’s working at Publix in an attempt to keep a roof over their heads. These are desperate times for many.

And after the Bucs were gutted over a year ago to begin a rebuilding program and finished with a measly three wins, fans are a bit jaded after years of winning teams. Many see the 4-2 record, look deeper behind the numbers, and have a raised eyebrow.

14 Responses to ““Tent City” Economy Hurting Bucs”

  1. T in Orlando Says:

    Joe, in your opinion, with economy not on a fast track to recovery, what do you think the Bucs will have to do to get back to those sold out games? 6-2 at the halfway point (which would mean a road win @ Atlanta)? 8-4 or better at the 3/4 pole (with at least one quality win, and no more blow outs)? Or will we have to wait until next year?

  2. gitarlvr Says:

    Yeah and their are teams in cities with economies just as bad that will continue to sell out every game. Unemployment is high everywhere. Its called the global economic crisis. Not the Tampa Bay economic crisis. The difference is that Tampa Bay is too full of transplants and the elderly to ever be a big sports town. The Rays would not sell out games regularly even if they won the World Series a couple of years in a row. The Bucs will only sell out again once the bandwagon jumpers are positive they are a super bowl contender.

  3. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Florida is weird, as far as sports go. Most of the steelers fans at the recent game lived here in the Tampa area. Try going to Philly and finding NY Giant Fans ?

  4. Joe Says:

    T in Orlando:

    Next year.


    The Rays would not sell out games regularly even if they won the World Series a couple of years in a row.

    The Rays is a whole ‘nother subject and much more complex than the Bucs. In short, there’s a significant amount of fans that loathe the warehouse in St. Petersburg and would rather watch a Clearwater Threshers game as a result.

    Then, you have a significant chunk of the area (with money) who absolutely refuse to drive 20 minutes to a game.

    The Rays have a major problem(s). The Bucs, if they win, may again begin selling out next year.

    Yeah and their are teams in cities with economies just as bad that will continue to sell out every game.

    Well, Detroit is the only town Joe can think of, and trust Joe, there are few if any transplants that move to Detroit.

  5. james from dunedin Says:

    My friends and I gave up our season tickets because every year the cost of going to games went up and the Glazers spending was at the bottom of the league. Its the economy yes, also but its also about value. Blowing up the team didn’t help either. Put a couple of ten win seasons back to back and the CITS will be full again.

  6. Buc You Says:

    I don’t think many people have confidence in this poor excuse for a head coach. Lots of people see right through these lucky wins, especially watching running backs run for 8 yards a pop.

    The bucs defense is downright TERRIBLE with a run defense surrendering a league leading 5.3 yards per handoff. 2 runs and the opposing offense has a first down.

  7. Ish Says:

    Its funny how other coaches, NFL analysts, and players around the league all respect Raheem, but so many Buc fans refer to him as “a joke of a coach.”

    Someone yesterday called him an amateur, which exposes some ignorance because Morris gets paid to coach so, by definition, he’s a professional, not an amateur.

  8. sensiblebuc Says:


    You beat me to the punch. The economy everywhere is terrible…yet no other team in the League has had every game blacked out including Detroit, one of the worst franchises in the League.

    I just moved from Detroit this summer (3 years hard time for law school) and they have one of the most supportive fanbases in America despite a 14% unemployment rate in Metro Detroit (22% unemployment within city limits) and a franchise which has done next to nothing since its inception into the NFL. Two years after the Lions went 0-16 they’ve sold out every stinking game this year and a couple games last year.

    People can talk about the economy or the losing season last season but the fact of the matter is we are saddled with an ignorant and frontrunning fanbase and I’m not sure that’ll ever change.

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    Buc You,

    You may be right that there are a lot of “fans” that can’t accept the head coach. There are also many who don’t care who the head coach is, they just want the team to win. And there are some that started off against the coach that are coming around.

    Even Steve White’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” blog this week, he commends the staff and front office for winning 4 games out of 6 against ANY NFL teams with 12+ first and second year guys playing such a huge part. Think about that, that’s almost like taking a college all-star team to play an NFL team and winning 4 of 6. Call it “smoke and mirrors”, call it “luck”…. it doesn’t matter, the coach is getting these “just out of college” guys to win in the NFL.

    Are fans ready to spend money they can’t afford to spend on football? No, not yet, they aren’t that excited yet. When this team shows they can contend for the playoffs and more, when the memory of Gruden is just that… a great memory, then fans will come back and pay to see this team.

  10. Jonny Says:

    What kind of a moron prefers to spend on College Football over pro-football? That is like watching the movie Iron Man over Dark Knight.

  11. JDouble Says:

    Before the economy was bad, at our last playoff game, we had more Giants fans than Buc fans. It’s not all because of the economy. We just don’t have alot of die hard fans. Even if we somehow managed a home wildcard game…it ain’t selling out.

  12. BamBamBuc Says:

    Don’t be so quick, JDouble. If we did have a home wild card game, and it was against the Packers, it’d sell out… it’d just be yellow and green day at RayJay.

  13. barry sanders Says:

    So you give props for Peter King not pointing the finger at fans, HOWEVER you do it yourself on Joebucsfan? Where’s the 6,000 article ring a bell?

  14. Joe Says:

    barry sanders:

    Please point out where Joe mocks fans for not going to the games?

    The 6,000 article points out that unused tickets, already paid for, have nothing to do with the economy. Two separate entities, Barry.