Will The Bucs Open Training Camp Practices To The General Public?

June 13th, 2024

Bucs co-owner Bryan Glazer after mingling with fans at a 2012 training camp practice.

So if one is to count NFL night games, one would conclude that the New York Jets are incredibly popular and a team fans can’t get enough of.

The Jets have six night games in the first 11 weeks of this season, a modern NFL record.

Aaron Rodgers is back at quarterback for the Jets and excitement is high as it was a year ago. Today, the Jets announced they’re opening seven training camp practices to the general public. Tickets are required but are free. Season ticket holders get first crack at the tickets on specific sale dates. Two hours later, average Joes are free to gobble up what remains.

According to reports — plus Joe’s in-person observation at the Bucs-Jets joint practice in New Jersey last season — seating at Jets training camp is about 2,000.

And that brings Joe to the Bucs.

During the Tom Brady era, Bucs training camp wasn’t open to the general public. A fan had to be a member of a special interest group or a season ticket holder to attend. Last year, the Bucs opened one camp practice to the unwashed masses — a mid-August Monday morning when public school was in session.

Among NFL teams, the Bucs have been hanging out at the bottom of the pile when it comes to making training camp available to all fans.

Joe finds this ridiculous because many camp practices have empty seats. The Bucs are smart enough to find ways to fill those seats. Simple as that.

Buccaneers chief operating officer Brian Ford did an interview recently with The JP Peterson Show on FanStreamSports.com. He said several times that Team Glazer constantly presses him to make the Bucs the best in all aspects of engaging with fans.

Ford used the terms “reinvent” and “reinventing” several times in relation to the Bucs’ business team pushing themselves to be the very best they can be for fans.

“We challenge each other every day,” Ford said. “You know, the Glazers, I credit them. They want to be No. 1 on and off the field, you know, from a customer service standpoint, from a fan engagement [standpoint] and a fandom standpoint.”

In a matter of days or hours, the Bucs will announce how they will handle access to 2024 training camp. Joe’s fingers are crossed that Ford and his team worked hard and found the logistical solutions — and the will — to accomodate more fans.

Years ago, most camp practices afforded the average fan an opportunity to attend. And Bucs officials publicly said that was something the team loved, appreciated and was excited about.

Joe thinks training camp being accessible to as many fans as possible should be a concept agreeable to everyone associated with the Bucs. Hopefully, that appears obvious when the camp schedule comes out.

12 Responses to “Will The Bucs Open Training Camp Practices To The General Public?”

  1. heyjude Says:

    If the Glazers want to be number one with customer relations and fan engagement than it’s time for more fans to have accessibility to the training camps. We are not in pandemic mode any longer, so there is no reason to not fill up the seats The players would love it too.

  2. dbbuc711 Says:

    I used to live going over to Disney Wide World of Sports to watch their training camps. I’m from the east coast so that was pretty close for me.

  3. Goodbuc'nlife Says:

    I recall one of the night practices back in 2010 or so, being a great experience. They had fireworks and all. As a fan, it was cool to see and I felt connected to the team beyond a Sunday afternoon. One of the other times I recall was back in 2017 at a Saturday afternoon training camp practice. It was dope. I took my little nephew who was three at the time and we were able to meet GMac and took pictures with him. My nephew never forgot that. He constantly referred to Gerald as the “football man” the rest of the year whenever he saw me asking to see the “football man” again. Those are memories as fan that I’ll never forget. Most fans can’t afford season tickets or even single game tickets and all that comes with that. Training camp practices is the closest to that experience most fans will ever get. We have a loyal fan base. Hopefully Team glazer realizes that and extends these opportunities to the loyalist again.

  4. Crickett Baker Says:

    IDK..with the many changes in offense that must be installed, it seems counterproductive to allow many people to watch that.

  5. BucVoyager Says:

    Been going to training camp since the UT days. It’s criminal to not allow fans at training camp. I’ve been to the special events and the Bucs do a great just but the average joe loves the team too.

  6. Rod Munch Says:

    But they might get the vid … and that’s pretty much an instant death sentence. Better to just wait a couple of dozen more years, you can never be too safe. Also in the mean time remember to get your 45th shot, wash your hands in bleach for at least 2 minutes, plus wear a mask at all times, and keep at least 6ft away from your spouse and children. If you abide by these simple rules, we might just beat this thing by 2050.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    BucVoyager – Yeah, I used to go out to UT as well. Those were fun to watch as the Bucs were building to their glory years. I know the team doesn’t like letting the peasants into their pristine facilities, but I’m certain the players would love to have fans out there as it brings so much energy to everything.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Thanks for consistently trying to look out for the common man in this regard Joe!

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    How many other professional sports or college sports allow fans at practice?

    Can I go watch Steph Curry’s shoot around? No.
    Can I go watch Mike Trout take BP? No.
    Can I go watch the Oregon Ducks install their blitz schemes? No.
    Can I go watch Chip Kelly’s system for relaying plays into the hurry up offense? No.

    Personally, I think it’s odd to let fans watch practice. I see it as a liability.

    The games are on Sunday. Watch the games.

  10. garro Says:

    I think the Glazer/Ford idea of fan interaction and PR is a whole different animal than what the average “unwashed” (Unable to afford exorbitant season ticket price) fans idea is Joe. Their interaction is not with the “unwashed” at all. Unless it gets a blurb in the media about supporting special interests and charities. Nothing wrong with that, but actual interactions say alot about what there true interests are.

    UT practices were fantastic BTW love getting off work nearby and taking the walk down to Pepin Rood. If Ford were actually interested in the true “unwashed” fan they should have no trouble cutting a deal with UT for a few camp practices. Capacity is 15,000 of the unwashed real Buc fans. So whats up Mr Ford?

    Go Bucs!

  11. My Momma Says:

    Lol, “unwashed masses”….Lol. Thanks Joe! You made my day.

  12. Tony Says:

    I’m a bit skeptical about having open practices, I know there are rules against teams’ personnel attending practices of other teams, but I think we all know how rules aren’t followed in competitive sports (e.g. Michigan, the Patriots, The Saints, etc.).