Roger Goodell: It’s The Economy

October 14th, 2011

Sadly, the people that still are of the misguided belief that BSPN produces quality sports viewing (sans college football) are outraged over how the four-letter crucifies the local market.

At first, when Joe heard people whine how the BSPN types always mock the area for lack of attendance to baseball and football games, Joe’s initial response was, “Well, that’s what you get for watching BSPN. You should know better. Watch the NFL Network and MLB Network instead.”

But the more Joe heard from people whining about BSPN and their mocking of the Tampa Bay area, Joe began to smell an agenda.

Did BSPN ridicule Cincinnati not selling tickets to Reds games despite having a division winner last year? Does the same outfit howl about the Chargers and the Raiders and the Bengals having blackouts? Nope.

Did BSPN mention how Wednesday night, Game 3 of the NLCS in St. Louis wasn’t sold out, you know, the best baseball town in America if you are to believe some baseball pundits? Doubt it.

(For the record, nothing on radio makes Joe change the station quicker than people talking about attendance. Joe doesn’t give a whip if two people or 40,000 people are at a game. If Joe wants to watch said game, he’ll go to the game. It’s the game, not the seats, Joe cares about.)

NFL warden commissioner Roger Goodell feels Bucs fans’ pain. Unlike BSPN, Goodell understands if the local economy was thriving, seats would be packed at Bucs games, so he told eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

“Tampa’s a great market,” Goodell told The Tampa Tribune this week at the NFL’s fall meetings in Houston. “I know how passionate the fans are down there. I also know the team is doing everything it can to get people into the stadium.”

Goodell noted the effect a down economy is having on the region.

‘We have to recognize what fans are going through right now,” he said. “These are challenging times, and Tampa has been hit particularly hard.”

Would it be better for fans if they could watch games locally on TV? Of course. But Joe is of the mind that if you want to watch a game and money is tight, pick out a game or two when the schedule is released in April and squirrel away a few bucks here, a few bucks there, and pretty soon one can afford to go to a game or two.

It’s nice to have breakfast in bed. But sooner or later you have to get out of bed and pour the cereal in the bowl yourself.

Like St. Petersburg Times veteran columnist Gary Shelton has pointed out, when Van Halen comes to the Ice Palace, that concert isn’t even on HBO much less free TV. Yet no one complains, not one peep. But God forbid an NFL game is blacked out by the NFL.

Why the double-standard?

32 Responses to “Roger Goodell: It’s The Economy”

  1. Matt Says:

    We didn’t build a stadium for Van Halen. We built a stadium for a football team. A team we’d like to be able to watch on TV.

    We paid for a stadium using taxes thinking we’d be able to attend said games because the prices were reasonable. Then the prices became unreasonsable, so we couldn’t attend. And now we can’t even watch it on TV.

    WE’RE PAYING FOR SOMETHING WE CAN’T EVEN ENJOY. That’s why people are pissed off.

  2. McBuc Says:

    Yeah Matt, that penny tax is killing everyone! Not to mention they lowered pricies, and they still are not selling out. The problem is lack of corprate support. Most NFL teams have around 60% of their season ticket holders as companies. The Bucs have about 70% of their season ticket holders being individual people. That is the real reason.

  3. KD Says:

    I finally agree with Goodell. People tend to forget that we had an amazing streak of sellouts from the 90’s to 09. The sellouts will resume once Tampa proves that they can win consistently.

  4. Joe Says:


    We didn’t build a stadium for Van Halen.

    So the Ice Palace was fully funded with private finances?

    Then the prices became unreasonsable, so we couldn’t attend. And now we can’t even watch it on TV.

    The current NFL blackout policy has been in effect for some four decades. That has not changed.

    WE’RE PAYING FOR SOMETHING WE CAN’T EVEN ENJOY. That’s why people are pissed off.

    A blackout means games are not on TV. It doesn’t mean the gates to the stadium are bolted and fans cannot attend games.

  5. Bucnjim Says:

    McBuc is correct about the corporate sponsorship or lack their of here in the Tampa Bay area. If you look close at other stadiums; they may be considered sold out, but the stadium itself has the same amount of fan’s or less than the Bucs do. Flip through the games if you have the Package and check out how many stadiums are only 2/3 full.

  6. Nick Says:

    McBuc: didn’t Publix just make the Monday night game a sellout?

    And thanks Rog, for noticing the economy. We could sure use a Super Bowl…Oh, we’ve already voted and Tampa lost to Mexi..I mean Arizona. Thanks for noticing though

  7. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Via Ticketmaster (home team listed first):

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints (10/16) upper level: $81.25 – $105.25

    Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens (10/24) upper level: $64.75 – $80.25

    Carolina Panthers vs Washington Redskins (10/16) upper level: $57 – $59

    Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers (10/23) upper level: $57.55 – $137.55

  8. Jrock Says:

    The Buc’s gave gotten a slew of new corporate “partnerships” this season. Hell, they just added one today in Community Bank. I’m pretty sure I saw a story where they picked up CVS as a partner. I can’t remember the names of the businesses, but I’m sure there is at least 1, maybe 2 more they added.

    Every time I see one of those stories I think “nice, less burden on the fans to out the blackouts”, yet it is still a problem.

    As for your double-standard question, you’re comparing apples to oranges Joe, and you know it. Van Halen doesn’t play at the Ice Palace 8 times (7 if he suddenly gets an overseas gig) a year, Halen doesn’t have a contract with television companies.

  9. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    If the NFL would make Sunday Ticket games that aren’t sold out permanently unavailable in that team’s home market, and do the same with Game Rewind (meaning no matter how much time has passed those games remain unavailable), plus effectively shut down all pirated internet feeds as quickly as they pop up using Homeland Security’s domain take-down technology, this problem would be solved. Most if not all games would end up sold out.

    All that’s needed is a gestapo-like commitment to draconian digital warfare against any and all violations of the NFL’s revenue-generating capacity. Short of that there will always be alternatives for people living in economically depressed areas. It basically comes down to how bad-ass the NFL really wants to get with people.

    Personally, I say go medieval on their asses…economic excuses be damned.

  10. patrickbucs Says:

    CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    October 14th, 2011 at 3:20 pm
    Via Ticketmaster (home team listed first):

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints (10/16) upper level: $81.25 – $105.25

    Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens (10/24) upper level: $64.75 – $80.25

    Carolina Panthers vs Washington Redskins (10/16) upper level: $57 – $59

    Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers (10/23) upper level: $57.55 – $137.55

    This defintely proves tickets aren’t priced well when Baltimore and Washington are that much less. My friends in Michigan purchased Lions season tickets 5 rows up in the upper deck on the 40 yard line for $40 a game.

  11. Joe Says:


    LOL That’s like saying all sports leagues, due to concern about drunken behavior, will ban beer sales permanently.

    Owners and broadcasters will be willing to take a bath for what reason exactly?

  12. Paul Johnson Says:

    lower ticket prices=FANS.Make all nfl products here in the usa.Im ashamed My nfl jersey {Josh Freeman] is being made in is my hat.Im sure there are many unemployed people that would love that job of making nfl products,instead of making this in Honduras.May be Mr.Goodell ought to move the Bucs to Honduras.And see if he can sell out games there,nfl jersey cost between 50 to 100 dollars.Go Bucs

  13. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Matt That was a horrible take on the situation. The Bucs are at the bottom of ticket prices.

  14. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @FlBoyinDallas There is no way to shut down all pirated feeds. When one goes down, two more pop up. That is the awesomeness of the internet.

  15. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Patrick and Creamsicle Stub hub is selling tickets to the New Orleans game for $40 dollars. They have tickets to the Panther game for $25. That is bottoms in the league.

  16. Mauha Deeb Says:

    If you guys can’t afford $25 for a Bucs game, well, then you really just do not have enough passion to go. That is ok. Not everyone does. But almost everyone could afford a $25 ticket. If you wan’t cheaper tickets you have to buy them early, just like airline tickets. The cheap ones go fast and early. If you wait till the last minute that is your own fault. You missed out on the cheapest tickets. You might have to pay more for the next level of tickets but the quality of the seats are better. So quit the bitchin.

  17. SteveK Says:

    It is all BS.

    Gooddell makes $10,000,000 a year, himself.

    That’s why ticket prices are so ridiculous. I dare ask the NFL and it’s owners to disclose their payrolls.

    They won’t bc it would make everyone sick. The rich get richer and the “Joe Fan” gets hosed.

    Games should be televised blackout or not, it’s BS to not offer it to the public.

    The blackout rule needs to be looked St just as US Healthcare, bc both are crocks of spit.

  18. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @SteveK “The blackout rule needs to be looked St just as US Healthcare, bc both are crocks of spit.”

    I hear ya. Everything the government involves itself in turns to spit.

  19. SteveK Says:

    Yeah man, Teachers get peanuts, and goodell gets $10m per.

    It’s disgusting, the rich get richer and the middle class (regular “Joe” ticket buyers) is a dying breed.

    REVOLUTION! It’s our god given right to watch the home team win on Sunday’s, and this garbage has got to stop

    I wish all fans would blackout the NFL until they come back to earth, and make going to a game a feasible experience for all.

    Chucky is getting paid $5m this season by the Bucs, that’s why prices are what they are, “hollow and grossly overpriced”.

  20. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe…I don’t think you understand what I was saying. Sunday Ticket and Game Rewind, just like live TV broadcasts, have a regional element to them. I was only talking about the home market of the teams that don’t sell out the stadium being deprived of the opportunity not only to see it live on TV, but even to view it later on via a replay subscription. They already restrict viewing in such cases for 24 hours anyway in the home market. Just make it permanent. Easy as pie.

  21. Matt Says:

    @McBuc I didn’t say people couldn’t afford afford to go to the game because of the penny tax. Abd yes they lowered prices, but only a little and only after doubling them over 15 years. I do agree that corporate sponsorship is a big problem though.

    @Joe: I didn’t say the Ice Palace was financed privately, I said it wasn’t built for concerts, that’s just a perk of the stadium. And of course people can still go to the stadium, but that doesn’t change the fact that we financed a stadium for the right to pay twice what the piced were originally.

    And don’t act like every fan goes to the games. We both know that there are 10x the number of fans who will always just watch the game on TV. It is their right to be pissed off at the Glazers and the NFL policy for making them pay for a product that they can’t watch on TV because other people can’t afford to pay for the tickets.

    @Mauha I don’t k ow if they Bucs are at the bottom or not (I’d guess they’re in the middle), but that doesn’t changed the fact that they jacked up the prices when times were good and now haven’t re-adjusted them down now that times are bad.

    And please people, stop with the “if you can’t afford a $25 ticket, you’re not a fan” crap.

    1) A lot of people would much rather see the game on TV, regardless of the price. With three young children, I simply cannot spend 6 hours out of the house not watching my kids 8 times a year. Even if the tickets were FREE, I couldn’t go 8 times a year.

    2) People have a right to complain about someone charging them for something without them being able to enjoy it. Period.

  22. fanofkit Says:

    Per REUTERS Sep 5, 2008 : The Tampa Bay (Florida) Buccaneers saw the next biggest jump in ticket prices at 24.4 percent, to the second-highest average in the NFL, $90.13. The cost for a family of four is $483.02, the third-highest in the league behind New England and the Chicago Bears ($484.31).

    Lets all be clear here- as the economy was faltering and falling in on itself ticket prices again surged. This was in area particularly injured by the colapse. The real unemployment rate has been near 20%, meanwhile the 2008 season ended in a monumental collapse leading to Gruden’s ouster and a new coach seeminly hired on the cheap, and a purge of a generation’s worth of popular vets. Add to it increasing doubt about the Glazer’s willingness to spend money and rampant speculation about money essentially being laundered across the Atlantic to shore up the ManU franchise- an idea perpetuated and pimped out by many voices and pens in the local media including and especially Deumig- and you have lower attendance. (DUH..)

    Lay off the fans people. This market has been a far better fan base than this franchise has deserved for most of its existance.

    Joe please lay off the Rolling Stone (or whomever) concert comparrison. Its apples to oranges and I am sure you know it.

  23. SteveK Says:

    What can be done to fix this “blackout” rule?

    1- Goodell man’s up and hands himself a strict penalty of a $9m pay cut, which goes right to TV revenue.

    2- Owner’s stop being so darn selfish and remove all of the “pay for no show” jobs on their payroll.

    3- All games can be seen on TV, sell out or not.

    Taking football away from struggling Americans is down right brutal. Sunday is a day of rest and NFL football. Nowadays Bay area folk can’t watch the Bucs. What gives?

    Everyone should experience football on Sundays, whether they can afford a ticket or not.

    Fans will still continue to show up to games, but for the vast majority the economy has taken a dump, and left them with less to spend.

    Goodell needs to take back the Urlacher fine handed out last week, and remove his head from his keester.

    Then, he needs to address America, and announce that blackouts are no longer in effect.

    From there, BCS football needs to disban, and a playoff system (just like every other NCAA footbal division other than 1-AA) needs to be born.

  24. below me Says:

    9 home games at $35 a game, and 10 months to pay. If you couldn’t afford that, then the last thing you need to worry about is watching a football game.

  25. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    As anyone who has followed the Bucs for a long time will tell you, the Tampa Bay area has Always stuck by the Bucs attendance wise.

    Even during the dark years from 83-96, when only one season didn’t provide a double digit loss year (95 was 7-9), you always found 30,000 in the stands. While that may sound low, teams like the Houston Oilers, St.Louis Cardinals, and Baltimore Colts had crowds in the teens at their games during their losing years, and thats only with losing years of 3 or 4, not 15!

    Tampa Bay will bounce back, it will take time, but the unemployment rate in florida is the same comparative number to the great depression of the ’30s. People cannot afford to go to the games. Lower the price temporarily, and fans will show up. Otherwise, we just have to wait until the local economy heals.

  26. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @fanofkit In 2008 we didn’t have any black outs. In 2009 we didn’t have any blackouts. So I don’t want to hear that garbage. Since 2010 ticket prices have dropped significantly. You can buy a ticket to a game for $30 dollars.

    In fact, 18 teams raised ticket prices in 2010. Buccaneers were not one of them. The average ticket price in 2011 went up 1.2% while the Bucs did not raise any prices and dropped certain tickets by 20%-30%.

    Tickets are cheap and tickets are plentiful. I don’t want to here the nonsense that people can’t afford it. Plan a month ahead and there should be no problem. You show me one person that can’t afford $50(includes parking and food) to go to a game, and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t care to work for their luxuries.

    If it is worth it to you, you will go. If not, you won’t. But it very little to do with affordability.

  27. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @below me EXACTLY!!!!

  28. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @below me and it was only 7 games this year. $245 for the entire seaon…..

  29. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @SteveK Problem is, Goodell has no power over the black outs. They are federal law. Congress is in complete control over that.

  30. Ben Says:

    @Mauha Deeb,

    Your understanding of the law in regards to the blackouts is backwards. The gov’t said the NFL could NOT blackout home games that ARE sold out. Of course the NFL has the right to show games in the home market that are not sold out.

    My only real question is, do blackouts really motivate people to buy tickets?

    As for the unemployment argument. There are 3m in the greater Tampa Bay Area, so even if the unemployment was 30% there’d still be 2 million people able to buy the 65k tickets.

  31. Matt Says:

    @Mauha Deeb The only reason the Bucs didn’t have any blackouts in 2008 and 2009 is because the Glazers kept buying up the tickets quietly until they got fed up with it. Realistically, we’ve probably had ~26 of the last 30 home games with less than 65k attendance.

    Hell, we didn’t even actually sell out our last home PLAYOFF game. (Look at the stands in that game.)

  32. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Ben Read the law. You are wrong.

    @Matt It was close enough that the Glazers were willing to absorb the small cost.