Will The Huge Falcons Game Sell Out?

November 22nd, 2010

Joe saw the headlines across every Tampa Bay newspaper Friday touting a solid drop in the unemployment rate across every county in the region in the month of October.

It even represented a year-over-year improvement, so wrote Michael Sasso of The Tampa Tribune.

The Tampa area’s unemployment rate fell to 11.8 percent in October from 12.4 percent in September. The rate had been 11.9 percent in October 2009, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. The agency includes Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties in the Tampa area.

The drop in the jobless rate here is significant because it puts the region roughly even with the state overall. Previously, the region suffered from a higher unemployment level than Florida.

Sure, unemployment is still painfully high, but improvement is a lot better than the alternative.

And Joe’s read the headlines touting how tourist season is and will be quite strong in these parts with Euros and Canadians dropping their cash in town because the U.S. dollar has plummeted, and Americans seeking a less expensive warm vacation are seeking out Florida but not towns near the oil spill.

The Bucs are 7-3, and their throwback-uniform game against Atlanta in Tampa on Dec. 5 is sure to be huge. It’ll be a massive game between two good teams with major playoff implications. A real event, too, with John McKay landing in the Ring of Honor.

Joe’s quite curious to see the community’s response at the box office.

Joe knows people without cash can’t print it and go to the game. But what about the legions of people who do have cash and call themselves Bucs fans? We all know the guy or family that ditched a pricey season ticket bill, or fell off the bandwagon last year, but wouldn’t break a financial sweat going to the next Bucs game.

How many hundreds of thousands of football fans fall into that category?

The Raiders managed a sellout two Sundays ago with the help of an improved team and a radio station promotion offering half price tickets. The Jaguars are selling out in a small Florida market. And suffering Detroit has put a few games on the tube this year. San Diego got it done for tonight’s game and looks like it will sell out a couple of more, per reports last week in the Union-Tribune.

Joe would love nothing better than to cancel The Blackout Tour for the Falcons game.

Attendance for the Bucs-Panthers game was about 44,000, up around 10 percent from the Bucs-Rams game earlier. Something made that number jump.

Joe knows the community has the means to get that number a heck of a lot higher for one game. One big game.

29 Responses to “Will The Huge Falcons Game Sell Out?”

  1. Jonny Says:

    I will take some flak for the comment, but apart from unemployment, I also think Tampa being a rotten sports town has something to do with Bucs not being able to sell out.

    Too many rednecks that just watch college ball (gaytor nation) and too many transplants that follow other teams.

  2. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    @Jonny, there used to be a 50,000-long waiting list for bucs seasons tickets.

  3. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I hate to say this, but I agree about Tampa being a terrible sports town. In my roof cleaning business, I talk to probably 15 different people a day. it is my job to try and find something in common with my customers, so they feel comfortable with the people who they hire to clean their roof. Being a total football and sports nut, I find very few that are interested in the Bucs. Like the previous poster said, many seem to be more into the team from their hometowns. In my old hometown of Detroit, and from living 15 years in Seattle, I never saw opposing teams jerseys at sports bars. You might have got your butt kicked ? I am truly shocked when I go to local sports bars in Tampa, and see all the supporters of different teams. That said, I still look for a Atlanta – Tampa sellout.

  4. Jonny Says:

    When Bucs were a dynasty during late 90s and early 2000s? I am sure that is when it was that good. There is never a shortage of bandwagoners when teams are good in a stretch.

    But there are some teams in the league selling out even if they are not winning much, even if unemployment is an issue in those cities. IMO there aren’t as many hardcore Bucs fans in general.

  5. Jonny Says:

    @Apple roof, I am amazed it is that bad. I live in Bama and often people see me wearing Freeman/Barber/Winslow jerseys. Some strangers in walmarts and malls recognize Bucs jersey and come to me saying they are from Tampa. Then most tell me Bucs are a horrible team and Tim Tebow should be our QB.

    I ask them to tell the name of our current QB and they do not know. Now these guys are natives of Tampa living in Bama, a lot different from say a Wisconsin native living in Tampa.

  6. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    In a word. (ok two) Hell. Yes.

    Lifelong Buc fan here – been through the entire cycle a few times. The team is beginning to peak at just the right time.

    Tampa’s market is somewhat unique IMO. It’s difficult to compare it to other markets. (I’ve had this convo before…)

    The bandwagon will fill back up. I’m certain of it.

    Go Bucs!

  7. Jeff Says:

    Have you ever been to a sports bar in Chicago on a Sunday? You will find Packers fans, Lions fans, Vikings fans and others all over the place. Newsflash–people don’t always live where they come from! Almost every person I know here is a solid Bucs fan. Disclaimer, I do live in S. Tampa where the highest % of people actually are from Tampa. Fact: Tampa has proven itself to be a good sports town, Bucs and Lightning both. Rays will too if we could get a real stadium, as evidenced by sellouts of every playoff game we have had. We are not Miami or Atlanta. Attendance swings do not happen overnight and I believe this game will be the beginning of a nice upswing for the long run. There a plenty of people who can afford tix. Have some faith, but also respect the historical facts!

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    Imagine just for a moment that we beat the Ravens. The ATL game would be H – U – G – E. The division lead on the line against the dirty birds…this game would make a nice flex to prime time and we could call it…”Throwback Payback”. (queue music)

  9. bucfanjeff Says:

    First things first though, up next, the Ravens.

  10. feel Says:

    People need to stop dreaming about a prime time flex. NBC is perfectly happy with the game already scheduled that night (Steelers/Ravens)

  11. jdouble Says:

    If we don’t sell out the Falcon game then we are officially the worstfans in the NFL

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    Again I feel the need to bring this up. One thing that’s really noticeable is corporate support this season. Usually , lots if businesses I interact with have Buc Tickets to dole out. I haven’t seen any of the usual culprits with Tickets. Think the whole community steps upi

  13. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    LO Jonny, Alabama is a trip, you are either an Auburn or an Alabama Fan, and them boys will fight over it. I have tampa seasons tickets, and I smoke cigarettes at the games, tryin to quit ….
    In the smokers area of tampa stadium, I see the same fans every week, and they are very into the bucs. But i will have to say the average person in tampa is not, nothing like Philly, NY, Detroit, Cleveland, Green Bay, etc, etc. Even in economically depressed Detroit, they still support THEIR Lions, and have ‘Restore The Roar” T Shirts, Jerseys, and bumper stickers, even though the Detroit Lions have not roared in over 20 years!

    Take the frisco game we just played, only after Tampa’s 3rd score with 4 minutes left did we see a mass exodus of the Frisco fans!
    At the Tampa – Cleveland game, few fans stuck around to actually watch Tampa win!

    The Tampa Bay area is full of trendy Yuppies, so as Tampa keeps winning, you will see all the trendy Yuppies come out to jump on the current bandwagon.
    I think we are darn near gonna have to win almost all of our games before Atlanta to sell out.

  14. Patrick Says:


    I know, it’s awful isn’t it?

    Just the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about the best linebackers in NFL history. I brought up Derrick Brooks, and he replied “Who’s that?”. I was like “Are you f***in serious?? Who is he? He’s an 11 time pro bowl linebacker!!”

    It really pissed me off that I heard such a thing. But, you can blame the damn media for never giving our team any attention over the years. That’s why people don’t know about us.

  15. Buc You Says:

    @Patrick… You are 100% right. The local media spent years defaming Jon Gruden that they have essentially created the great divide. There was a time when the Bucs were 9-3 a few years ago yet the liberal media found nothing good in Gruden or Garcia.

    Now all of a sudden that the local liberal media has their guy they have the audacity to ask “Whats wrong with fanbase???”

    The fu(king liberal media divided the fanbase while chasing Gruden out of town… Thats what happened!

  16. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    It’s the throwback game. It’s going to sell out.

    I think the ownership would make a wise investment to offer significantly reduced priced tickets (not the cheesy 10% off promotion) to everyone who has a drivers license or ID card proving they’re a Florida resident.

    This game has HUGE implications to a playoff berth. If they are all really about the “Unite and Conquer” promotion… get these fence sitters off the damn fence.

    Grella? Grella? (taken from Ferris Bueller) 😉

  17. The White Tiger Says:

    Capt. Tim – the empty seats you’re seeing in the stadium are NOT because the public stopped going to games. The missing seats are a reflection of what is wrong EVERYWHERE. The reason their are empty seats in the stadium each week is the same reason behind 12% unemployment – the folks corporations that once owned the seats that are now empty at the games – no longer exist.

    So, if the question is: “…do you think we can fill the stadium for one HUGE game…” my answer is “sure”.

    If the question is: “…are happy days here again…” I’d have to say that when the cost of labor comes down more companies will start hiring in order to make affordable things, again.

    When THAT happens – corporations will begin to buy-up “club-level” seating to entertain their customers, again.

    ..and for the idiots who tell me this is a terrible fan base: USF, UF, FSU, UCF…certainly state otherwise. The SEC teaches America each season about where the best football is played – and if I recall correctly the Uof F has demonstrated twice in the past few seasons that the nations BEST college football is played right here in Florida.

    We are discerning fans who have something extra to factor into evaluating whether we should go watch losers lose – Sunshine.

    We’re not like Seattle, Chicago, Green Bay – when you live here God distracts you. Rather than see losers keep losing – you can go for a swim, go fish off a boat in the Gulf, or just head to the beach…

    See what I mean; discerning & wise fans – with options – force owners to prove to them why they shouldn’t just be at the beach…

    One game? Sure, we’re their…

    an entire season? …hmmm…I don’t know…how good is the product…?

  18. Patrick Says:

    ATTENTION: The Bucs vs. Falcons game on Sunday 12/5 has been flexed to 4:15 p.m ET

  19. McBuc Says:

    Buc You, that was funny…Our defense always used to get national media attention, our offense has never really deserved it. Buc You is the first person I have ever heard call the Tampa Tribune “liberal”…Oh, and this is football not politics, the slant left or right does not matter. FOX has not been all about the Bucs either. Gruden made his own bed, and before you accuse me, I am a huge Gruden fan! The team needed and wanted a change. Answer me this Buc You, if Tampa beats the Ravens, will you admit that improvement has happened?

  20. BucFan South Tampa Says:

    Hey guys, lets enjoy the winning season. This town turned away from the Bucs in 2006 (remember the Bruce Gradkowski era?- 3W 13L) Thats when I started seeing swarms of other jerseys in the Press Box.
    What we will have to do now is enjoy the games on national TV when the Bucs, (as a wild card), go to Chicago or Seattle for the wild card game, then go either to Philly or Atlanta. Does it get cold in Chicago in January?

    Joe, will you be hosting a blackout tour for the Playoffs?

  21. Joe Says:

    BucFan South Tampa:

    Joe, will you be hosting a blackout tour for the Playoffs?

    If needed, of course!

  22. Joe Says:

    Some strangers in walmarts and malls recognize Bucs jersey and come to me saying they are from Tampa. Then most tell me Bucs are a horrible team and Tim Tebow should be our QB.

    I ask them to tell the name of our current QB and they do not know.

    The Bucs already have a backup quarterback/designated runner. His name is Josh Johnson.

  23. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Will the Bucs-Falcons game be a sellout?


    If the Bucs play hard against the Ravens – possibly
    If the Bucs BEAT the Ravens – ABSOLUTELY

  24. Mr. Lucky Says:

    As for Tampa being a ‘sports town’ look at some FACTS

    1. Most warm water Cities on the water have problems with sports attendance: Los Angeles, San Diego, Tampa

    When there is so much good college football available to an area the pro teams usually ‘suffer’ when doing poorly.

    2. Football is a BLUE COLLAR sport. Most of the fans in the stadium aren’t YUPPIES like NBA people. In Tampa the Blue Collar jobs are what got hit the hardest

    3. The NFL ‘experience’ isn’t all that’s it’s cracked up to be. Many people, like myself, don’t consider sitting outside with lots of drunks is very much fun. I prefer to go to see the Storm play rather than the Bucs – PLUS the ticket prices for the quality of the seats is 25%

  25. Buc You Says:

    Nobody wants to see a Raheem Morris led chest bump fest… call them rednecks if it makes you feel better.

  26. tampa 2.5[mike56wesley] Says:

    everyone has an opinion and everyone is right so im gonna add to it.for one gruden was agood coach ,buc you calls rahiem an idiot but gruden would have still been here if he would hav deveoped talant and get team stabilitybut he still won a superbowl and fans were loyal to him ,the glazers replaced a super bowl winner with a rookie unproven coach,thats like getting rid of superbowl winning quarterback with a rookie,the rookie goes 3-13 and the fans get upset,the only cure is winning which is what morris is doing.everyone that that calls the glazers cheap think about this gruden was paid to leave,thats not cheap,they are building the way they built the first team before lord chucky tore it up,washington spends every dollar they can you think they want to trade teams and headcoach?we have smart owners with smart young minds.we are building a team that the fans wont have to leave again.winning is the cure.the media crucified morris last year and this year,not just gruden,our radio station sileo is stuck on gruden,ian just gave us credit, winning is the cure and we got a big dose for the fans this year.tampa2 this is the new improved tampa 2.5the loud majority of people that loves whats going on.eric,buc you,thomas…………….

  27. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I don’t recall the media running off Jon Gruden. I recall an old team full of players that couldn’t stand him, which fell apart at the end of the season. Plus, he apparently got into it with the owners. Not to the stupid: when you have a job, it is not good to have both your bosses and the people who work under you dislike you when you are not performing. It had nothing at all to do with the media, that’s a stupid scapegoat. Besides, if you miss Garcia, you can watch him in the UFL. And tune in tonight to listen to Gruden and his love fest of everybody on the field.

    Why does it bother you so much that Morris does chest bumps? He can do the Dougie with the players for all I care if it gets results. You probably have a problem with players who don’t just give the ball to the officials after they score a TD. It’s entertainment dummy, get over it. If people aren’t going to the games because the coach is chest bumping the players, then they are fu%#&^& idiots and don’t deserve to have an NFL team.

  28. Pete I Says:

    No – it will not be a sell out even if they beat the Ravens.

    And those are offical unempolyment numbers (people they are actually counting) not those who have given up looking or are wa, way underemployed and still can’t afford a ticket!

    And is the future economic situation appearing any better in say two weeks? Two years?

    If I can’t afford a ticket today I probably won’t be able to afford it in two weeks! And December 5th is the first week of the month – bill paying time!

  29. Bay Area Roof Cleaning Says:

    I agree with Chris…We are a melting pot of sports teams from up north. I support Pay Per View home viewing at $14.95 per home game to give the Bucs the money they loose from non-ticket sales…