Clarifying Another Blackout

October 11th, 2012

Joe’s put in more homework on the Bucs blackout situation and the numbers are worse than Joe thought.

First, there are closer to 53,000 “non-premium” seats in Raymond James Stadium (about 3,000 more than what Joe originally learned from the Tampa Sports Authority), which means the Bucs have to sell about 45,000 of those to hit the “85-percent rule” and avoid a TV blackout of local home games.

And even though the Bucs hit an official attendance mark of 58,000+ against Washington with a late rush of ticket sales after the league-imposed Thursday blackout deadline, the Bucs still didn’t make that 85 percent mark as Joe originally reported. (Sorry about that.)

There are boring accounting details that explain why, but the bottom line is fans really didn’t come close to buying that 85 percent. And surely the Bucs were miles from that 85-percent mark at the league-imposed blackout deadline, 72 hours before kickoff.

Right now, there are scores of $30 tickets available for Sunday’s Chiefs-Bucs game at, and loads of tickets at other price points.

The game officially will be blacked out at 1 p.m. today.

The Bucs aren’t alone in the NFL with their ticket-sales woes. It’s a much bigger problem — from New York to Oakland and beyond — than all the excuses/reasons that swirl around the Tampa Bay market.

What more can Team Glazer do when it comes to selling tickets? Joe suspects nothing much.

If the cheaper seats were all moved to $20, Joe wouldn’t be confident they’d be sold. Too many fans are just enjoying staying home.

25 Responses to “Clarifying Another Blackout”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Three words: F*CK Roger Goodell

  2. RCH Says:

    Considering that the blackout goes from Tampa all the way to Daytona Beach and the last game seen was against the cowgirls on 9/23 and the next one wont be seen until 10/25 people are definatley going to start being in the out sight out of mind frame of this team. Very disappointing as a die hard buc fan.

  3. fridgebob Says:

    The math doesn’t work, Joe. If there needs to be 45,000 seats sold, and there were 58,000 on gameday, that’s 128%.

    If there’s 12-13k tickets being sold after the deadline but before kickoff, nearly 23% of all sales, something has to change.

  4. Orlandobucfan Says:

    It’s all about the W. If the bucs win the fans will start coming and buying up all those tickets. The bucs have one win this year an average fan who just sees the record wouldn’t buy tickets to a losing team. If the bulls can sell out when they have a winning record and are ranked the bucs will. I believe the Wins will come we are already vastly improved from last year but it does take a little time.

  5. Kennedy Says:

    The math works because all those club seats, suites, etc. don’t count. And there’s probably stuff related to other seats that are charity giveaways and write offs. My ticket rep explained this to me once, and he seemed somewhat intelligent.

  6. Rob Says:

    Not surprised the Buc’s cannot sell out or even come close to selling the 85% of whatever seats need to be sold to broadcast the game locally. We are all broke. Fuel is near 4$ a gallon, milk is too. Everything costs more and the packaging is getting smaller. I’ve resigned myself to listening to Gene call the game on the radio and although I’d rather watch the game, he is always the entertaining “homer” and I have enjoyed listening to him call the Buc’s games for decades. I would go for $20 a ticket. I wonder how many out there would jump at that price point? If I took two of my four kids, I would save at least $30 at that price per game. Every little bit makes a difference in the current economy. Go Bucs!

  7. Marc Says:

    Why does show that the game will be televised in the Tampa Bay area? It’s just an error I’m sure but I wanted to see if anyone else caught that…

  8. Big Rob Says:

    Marc – The blackout is not officially announced yet.

  9. Marc Says:

    I know, we’ve got an hour before it’s official but in the past, would have had the Tampa Bay area greyed out for any Bucs home games (indicating a blackout) well before the deadline was even reached, but not this time. Just a little strange. Who am I kidding, I know it’s obviously gonna be blacked out…

  10. Tbuc Says:

    Here come the excuses…

  11. flmike Says:

    Stubhub has tickets starting at $20

  12. fridgebob Says:

    @Kennedy, so if by ‘the math works’ you mean that there are there are thousands of tickets being given away unsold, as well as 10k+ club seats/suites that don’t count, and other factors that clearly have nothing to do with actual math, then sure.

    Full capactiy is ~66k, non-premium seats comprise 53k of that. So that leaves 13k as premium seats that apparently don’t count.

    Therefore, that 58,000 actual gameday attendance last week, subtract 13,000 (let’s go ahead and assume all of the premium seats were sold and accounted for), you are left with 45,000 filled non-premium seats, all of which *someone, somewhere* had to have paid for, which is 84.9% of all available non-premium seats. If we are correct to assume that is the accurate breakdown of premium and non-premium, the difference between making 85% or not is about 50 seats.

    58,000 is nearly 88% of the *entire stadium’s* capacity, premium and non-premium alike.

    But of course, according to the NFL and television stations, it’s too little too late.

  13. Rob Says:

    Hey “TBuc”, concerning your comment of “here come the excuses”. I am married with four children and another due in February. I work two jobs, one as a firefighter paramedic, and one as a paramedic at an Orlando theme park. I live check to check. I love the Bucs/Lightning/Rays and try to attend a couple of games each year with one or two of my children each game. I simply do not have the discresionary money to drop over $150 dollars on a football game eight times a year, especially for the preseason games which is stealing our money anyway. I’m not full of excuses, I’m giving you facts. Some people like me don’t have the money. Doesn’t make me less of a fan than you or anyone else. Go Bucs!

  14. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @fridgebob – Appreciate your sarcasm, but essentially your first paragraph is correct and Kennedy is correct. Certain ticket giveaways aren’t tickets bought up by Team Glazer to avoid a blackout. The Bucs were way off the mark by the deadline and didn’t hit it even after the final tally.

  15. rhenry Says:

    Once a blackout is announced, they should offer the game on pay per view for $30 bucks.

  16. crazy Says:

    No TV = less interest. Less interest = lower attendance. Doesn’t seem too hard to figure out.

  17. Ben Drawbaugh Says:

    No Joe, Buccaneer fans don’t prefer to stay at home. There just aren’t enough fans. If you don’t prefer the stadium to home, then there is nothing fanatical about your feelings for the team.

  18. Jrock(mobile) Says:

    I looked for tix on stubhub for the redskins game, the only thing under $40 were parking passes. Does anyone know what the going rate for scalped tickets is? Can I show up with a $20 and get into the game?

    Also.. if so, how the f^<k do scalpers make money?!

  19. Joe Says:


    No TV = less interest. Less interest = lower attendance. Doesn’t seem too hard to figure out.

    Really? Average NFL attendance has dropped four years in a row, yet TV ratings are through the roof. Spiking TV ratings in fact.

    Your formula is actually backwards.

  20. Joe Says:


    No Joe, Buccaneer fans don’t prefer to stay at home.

    Totally disagree. The numbers are there, both locally and nationally, for anyone to see and read. Not sure why it’s so difficult for people to understand that more and more people prefer to watch from home than go through all the hassle of going to a game?

    Doesn’t mean they are any more or less a fan than those who go.

  21. Ladyz Says:

    Attendance will be better next week if they win this week. Enthusiasm will always reflect teams record. New Orleans couldn’t put buts in the seats until they started to win consistently. Are you listening Mr Freeman ?

  22. Ben Drawbaugh Says:

    Joe, how can someone is “obsessively concerned with something” (the Bucs) prefer to watch it on TV?

    Don’t say it is HD either. I’ve owned one since 2004 and had the first 60-inch HDTV that didn’t cost as much as a luxury car.

    Football on TV is for people who can’t go to the game and for casual observers — the same people who go to the game and then spend the entire time by the ship.

    I’ve missed one game in 5 seasons and I can tell you there are more people with their finger up in the air then those selling tickets. No one is paying face and no one wants to sit up in the corners.

  23. Morgan Says:

    No Blackout Tour this year?

  24. Joe Says:


    Joe, how can someone is “obsessively concerned with something” (the Bucs) prefer to watch it on TV?

    Where does Joe start?

    Getting to sleep in, relax early in the day > rushing through traffic to get to arrive hours before kickoff.

    Park on couch > pay $20 to park.

    Sit on leather couch for free in air conditioning > pay to sit in hot plastic chair for $30+ .

    No one blocking view of HDTV > having to stare at the back of some clown wearing a Grammatica jersey because he just has to stand up all game.

    Better camera angle and many replays from different angles of every play > not a great angle and maybe getting one replay from one angle on the big screen.

    Rarely is bathroom door locked > wait in line to go to the bathroom.

    Pause DVR to go to fridge/kitchen/bathroom > miss plays waiting in line for food/drink/bathroom.

    Quality craft beers > mass produced domestics.

    Rewind plays on DVR > hope to see replays on nightly news later.

    That’s just a few things.

    So please tell Joe once again why you cannot be a hardcore fan and watch games at home? So people outside the area who live out of state can’t be hardcore fans? Please.

    More and more — the evidence is all around — fans are preferring to stay home and watch games. The NFL has even acknowledged this.

  25. RP Says:

    Improve the food and the beer and bring down the prices.