Jul 25, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan watches during training camp at One Buccaneer Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Study: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have 29th Best Fan Base in the NFL


Another day, another reminder that the Tampa area isn’t the best sports location in America.

A study has ranked all the NFL teams based on the legitimacy of their fan base. The objective was not just to rank based on attendance, but on a multitude of factors. I’ll allow them to explain.

Per Emory Sports Marketing Analytics program:

In our series of fan base analyses across leagues, we adjust for these complicating factors using a revenue premium model of fan equity.  The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors.  The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables.  We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model.  Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases. We provide more details on the method here and here.

The Buccaneers came in 29th, with only the Cardinals, Falcons, and Raiders finishing lower.

The Tampa Bay Area is not the epitome of sports fan loyalty, as the Tampa Bay Rays struggle to draw attendance to their home games as well. But much like the Rays, the Buccaneers draw from a massive television market that is interested in tuning in from all around Central and Southwest Florida, but isn’t interested or capable of making it to Tampa to watch games in person.

So from a financial standpoint, the study is fairly accurate. Raymond James Stadium is not going to be the same kind of money-maker as many other NFL stadiums. But the Buccaneers have a sturdy fan base that extends across the world, it just might not be the most ripe for profit for the Glazer Family.

So what do you think? Where would you rank the Buccaneers fan base in terms of loyalty, passion, knowledge, and potential?

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