Bucs Fans No. 23

June 25th, 2019

Rise in popularity.

Now this caught Joe’s attention.

The Tampa Bay area, for many reasons unfair, some quite accurate, is known nationally as a lousy sports market. Oh sure, fans will show up for Lightning games but Bucs games or Rays games, fuhgettaboutit.

Of course, basing the popularity or financial health of a team on attendance is sssooo 1970s.

There are all sorts of reasons why fans don’t show up here. The demographics (old folks don’t often spend cash from fixed incomes on sports events) to team allegiances (it’s a factor) to climate (partially accurate) and stadium location (an insulting cop-out).

The main reason fans don’t show up to Bucs games? The team stinks. It’s not much more difficult to figure out than that. The Bucs have the worst home record of NFC teams in the post-Chucky era.

Why would fans pay good, hard-earned cash to see an ugly loss highlighted by a ghastly defense that would be hard-pressed to stop Robinson High School’s offense?

Joe cannot remember the specifics but maybe five years ago Deadspin.com aligned itself with a thinktank to compile a list of most popular teams in the NFL using social media interaction, market size, fan attendance, gear sales, TV ratings and other factors. At the time, the Bucs were the 31st most popular team, second-worst only to the Jags, per this study.

Recently, Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business released its study on which NFL team has the best fanbase. The Bucs, to Joe’s surprise, were No. 23.

Per the report, this study is based upon the following:

My approach to evaluating fan bases uses data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest (more details here). The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.

Joe has noticed an uptick in the team’s popularity, even after back-to-back 11-loss seasons. Joe will never forget three years ago in San Diego with Bucs fans taking over Jack Murphy Stadium. The area behind the Bucs’ bench all the way to the Bob Uecker seats at the very top was a sea of red and orange.

Joe never saw that before at a road game and San Diego would have been one of the last places Joe would have expected it.

Right then, Joe knew something was afoot.

Of course part of the new excitement for Bucs fans could be the hiring of Bucco Bruce Arians. And of course, it sure helps that the Bucs have one of the most recognizable quarterbacks in the NFL.

34 Responses to “Bucs Fans No. 23”

  1. SCBucsFan Says:

    If they read the comments in here we would be ranked significantly lower.

  2. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Surprised we are not ranked 33rd.

  3. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    No road games for me this year but planning on going to Vegas next year for Bucs vs Raiders

  4. WestChap Says:

    Really? Our Recognizable QB is driving team popularity up? I thought the Beard took his talents (a hairy chest and borrowed bling) to South Beach.

  5. Dapostman Says:

    I will be in Jacksonville this year and Vegas baby in 2020.

    Let’s do this Bucs!

  6. Dapostman Says:

    Also the reason the Bucs took over San Diego is the Chargers are one of the worst home fan bases. Hence the move to Los Angeles.

  7. Magadude Says:

    Been on this one for a long time. Going to take lot more than BA and a winning season or two. The Glazers embarked on a journey about 9 years ago, from hiring Brian Ford into a COO function, putting customer relations in place, stadium upgrades, and yes, drafting a franchise QB. Two steps forward, one step back is how it works in the strategic business environment, and it’s hard to measure what knocks it back. Some things are obvious. Face of the franchise hurting the org, losing…oh yes. There is the whole “value” of the product, and when you live live in paradise, it’s only harder. Is going to a Bucs game worth it? Or can I get the same “value” (probably better value) by doing church, a workout, trip to the beach, fishing, and turning to my 4K home theatre with much cheaper/better food and load of money savings? Like it or not, the hugest drags other than losing and high prices and hot/bad weather are things like ticket prices, gameday experience (which includes stadium/facilities), how people “feel” about their team. When players are seen as degenerates and there is social activism abound, it puts many over the top. In some cases they don’t even watch at home anymore. This is one reason why lifting the blackouts across the NFL effect on improving fan support is unknown still. Too many factors. For Tampa Bay, they’ve made the gameday experience phenomenal. Ticket prices need work still. The image of the team drags still. And in the meantime, all of the things competing are good or better except for those diehard fans who watch and support no matter what.

    Tampa Bay just can’t absorb and survive the shenanigans that big markets can. Sheer population. Money. And in some places (like Green Bay), not a whole lot of other stuff going on.

    It’s the folks who post here the Bucs are worried about. It’s about all those who used to be interested and now aren’t. The Bucs have fixed much, and hae a ways to go.

    The Rays problems now are not so much the stadium future but whether the team will be here. Attendance was never great even with Maddon and winning seasons. Some of that is stadium. Nowadays, why bother if they are leaving is what I hear a lot. And our local governments who blew the stadium deal started the dominos falling. The Rays are in trouble.

    Winning helps with much, but it will not cure all.

  8. Joe Says:

    Also the reason the Bucs took over San Diego is the Chargers are one of the worst home fan bases. Hence the move to Los Angeles.

    A big-time exaggeration. San Diego was a hardcore Chargers town BBBUUUTTT the Spanos clan couldn’t get a stadium. So they moved up the road two hours and in the process, before a new stadium was built (by Rams), doubled the value of their franchise.

  9. Magadude Says:

    ^^^It’s NOT the folks like who post here the Bucs are worried out.

  10. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The crowd in San Diego was the Buccoholics group. Wait until the LA Rams game this year.

  11. ATLBucs Says:

    Joe, I think Bucs Nation is more pervasive than they stated. I live in Atlanta and see many, many Bucs Jerseys and licennse plates.

  12. D-Rome Says:

    And of course, it sure helps that the Bucs have one of the most recognizable quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Lay off the sauce, Joe. It’s a little too early for that. There are probably hundreds of thousands of NFL fans out there, outside of Tampa, that still think Ryan Fitzpatrick is competing for a starting job here. If you had flashcards with all starting QBs in the NFL it would take most NFL fans longer to name Jay-Miss than it would for that fan to name Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning, ect… It’s because he’s not a leader.

  13. Bucsdelight Says:

    I would contribute some of it to B.A., but I think as we mature in sports, more people tend to like individual players vs. teams these days. This is true for baseball and basketball. Football isn’t any different. It’s easier to follow a player than to follow a team, especially when they are at the bottom of the division every year.

  14. Dapostman Says:

    San Diego Chargers attendance:

    2016 31st with avg 57,000> 32nd in capacity %
    2015 19th with avg 66,700> 22nd
    2014 22nd with avg 65,400> 23rd
    2013 22nd with avg 64,200> 25th
    2012 28th with avg 60,000> 30th
    2011 19th with avg 65,400> 25th
    2010 21st with avg 65,500> 23rd

    Bottom half every year since 2010. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the franchise by fans in San Diego.

  15. Todd Says:

    I offer the reason why I rarely go to a home game.

    I enjoy watching it on my big screen TV in the comfort of my own home. Beers at home are reasonably priced and I can hit the pause button when I need to go take a leak. I dig the rewind button…especially if I realize I just napped a bit.

    Now…that reasoning goes out the window when considering the fact other teams sell out weekly.

    If the Bucs strung together a couple winning seasons, I might give up my remote.

  16. Snook Says:

    Falcons at #13 is a joke. A couple of years removed from the Super Bowl. Fancy new stadium. Half the seats are regularly empty at games. No one there watches the games. They walk around the stadium.

  17. Mikadeemas Says:

    Going to the Jacksonville game, too. My first away game. Hope the game matters on December 1st. Go Bucs!!

  18. Mikadeemas Says:


    Hoping to get to a Bucs game in ATL one day. Seems like a cool venue(and cheap eats!) GO Bucs!!

  19. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe believes the only way we received this high 23rd ranking is due to the combined future attendance totals of both Tampa Bay and Montreal attendances”

    Kobe Faker

  20. jmarkbuc Says:


    If the Rays would build a stadium somewhere near the I-4 I-75 intersection, the attendance would skyrocket.

    Definitely population in Brandon, and it would be easier to get to from just about anywhere.

  21. Bucsdelight Says:

    Let’s take in to account Demographics as well here. Florida with an est. population of 21M has three football teams. Looking at around 7M per team, that really puts a limit on the fan base. You are looking far and wide to try and find fans outside of the state. Yes, I live outside of FL and I’m a fan, but that is rare. Also, the median age of FL is higher as well due to it being a retirement state. That also puts a limit on you.

    Now living outside the state, if you aren’t winning, you aren’t going to make fans. It is much easier to live outside of the state and be a Steelers fan, Cowboys fan, Chiefs fan, Rams fan, Seahawks fan, Patriots fan, Eagles fan, etc.

    I think the Rams may have lost quite a few fans when they moved. I’m not sure if the Bucs were to move to another location, if they’d lose that many or if they’d actually gain more.

  22. DBS Says:

    Look how many people move in to the area daily and leave. N.Y. has taken over that place and ruined it. That place is not the friendly place it use to be. Traffic.? So The fans are of other teams. Most of us have left. And don’t forget the uniform change. So nobody is buying that garbage. The losing record and I am surprised we are ranked that high.

  23. Barbosa Says:

    It is the product on the field. Imagine going to wing house and not having wings on the menu. Imagine the servers wearing burkas. Imagine going to a seafood restaurant and only chicken on the menu. Imagine going to sams club and the only things for sale are 20 gallon barrels of mayonnaise. This sums up the fan experience over the last decade. This former season ticket holder will stay away until the product is worth my money!

  24. Snook Says:


    It is a cool venue. But you know what it reminds me of?

    Ever been to a basketball game inside of a football or other type of stadium? Where the court seems small for the venue. The crowd noise isn’t quite there.

    That’s what the Falcons stadium is like.

  25. Bird Says:

    No way Carolina has a better fan base then us
    No way

  26. Wesley Says:

    The insane heat is my main reason for not going. That stadium needs shade desperately.

  27. rhenry Says:

    I am with you Wesley. I had season tickets in both the old sombrero and then Ray Jay up until about 2008. With the high price of beer, hot dogs and admission along with the very real threat of heat stroke, dehydration and SKIN CANCER I won’t be back until there is sunscreen and A.C. for all, not just the swanky club seat crowd. I don’t even think the swashbucklers playing flag football in the buff could get me to risk it, although I would seriously consider it.

  28. Mikadeemas Says:


    Yeah, like going to a concert and having to watch the big screen to see anything! Might have changed my mind! GO BUCS!!

  29. D-Rome Says:

    Bucs fans are good fans. We deserve better than what we’ve had over the past 11 seasons.

  30. Oregonbucsfan Says:

    Hey Rome, how about We deserve better than what we’ve had over the past 51 seasons. That’s how long I’ve been watching. Other than Sapp, inc. and the single SB, the rest is underwhelming. I’m afraid the vast majority of TB area has a wait and see attitude.
    Only idiots sincerely believe the Bucs are going to the playoffs. It IS possible, but so are comet strikes.

  31. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Bucs have only had 42 seasons…

    Who you been to watching for 51 years?

  32. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    I think the biggest reason the Den of Depression is awash in empty seats is that it is simple tooooooo freaking hot for half the season. But nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. A new domed stadium.

  33. BlogTalkFootball.com Says:

    At least put an awning over the lower bowl. I sit in section 121, right in front and I almost passed out at the Philly game last season, it was so hot! I didn’t find out until this offseason that I could have gone into the club area with my season pass because of the seats I have. This year, armed with this knowledge, I will be enjoying air conditioned comfort on those really hot days!

  34. unbelievable Says:

    I was at that San Diego game Joe, and I could not believe it either. We showed up loud and proud, and that was one hell of a win!

    I would dare say that us fans in the away section were at least as loud as the entire home crowd normally is at Ray Jay.

    It was a beautiful sight, and one of the few proud moments I’ve had as a Bucs fan over the last 10+ years.