They needed to sell roughly 9,000 to avoid yet another black out but it appears the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fallen short of that amount. Therefore the Buccaneers season opener against the Carolina Panthers has been blacked out locally….again.
One of the main focuses of the offseason for the Bucs was to make this team watchable. They did their damnedest to do so too, adding two Pro Bowlers and a solid cornerback as well as adding two vital pieces for the future in Mark Barron and Doug Martin in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
But although this team may be good in the future, they’re apparently not worth the money to see live now.
The latest blackout is cause for concern in Tampa, as attendance is plummeting, hovering around teh worst in all of football. It’s not just the Bucs who are seeing numbers fall, but since they’re numbers are down in the dumps to begin with, the latest trend towards watching games in the comfort of your home isn’t helping.
Unfortunately for Bucs fans, even watching their favorite 11 every Sunday in the comfort of their own homes is a fantasy. Three home games were televised last year, and with no nationally televised games slated at home in 2012, all eight could be blacked out completely.
Tampa’s not known for it’s attendance at sporting events, but it’s also not in the running to be the next financial capital of the United States. Times are tough, and as accommodating as the Bucs have tried to be, it’s still not enough to get fans to choose the Bucs over other necessities.
It’s sad to see Raymond James Stadium either mostly empty or half full of opposing fans on Sundays. It was just ten years ago that the place was selling out and the team was in the Super Bowl.
To quote a fellow Minnesotan who moved on to bigger and better things as well: “The times they are a changin’.”
Hopefully for Bucs fans, that means by the time we get to the home opener next year, the product on the field will warrant more seats to be filled. Until then, Tampa has a lot of winning over to do.