Buccaneers: Cursed Super Bowl experience for home fans

Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

Why does this have to be the first home Super Bowl ever? The Buccaneers must be cursed.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are living out a fairy-tale season. After adding Tom Brady in a jaw-dropping free agency deal and stepping up during the playoffs, the Buccaneers are the first team ever to host a Super Bowl.

This is one of the most exciting times in team history, yet, it feels hollow at times. Everyone appreciates the sight of Brady and the team celebrating on T.V., but it falls hopelessly compared to the experience of being in-person.

Super Bowl tickets have always been pricey and cater to a national audience, mainly because no team has ever been the true “home” team before, and local fans don’t want to pay a hefty sum to see a team other than their favorite play. Wealthy fans come from all around the country and the world to watch the spectacle, but there is never a real home team advantage based on the neutral site and diverse fanbase in attendance.

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While tickets would have still been expensive, one has to think that the Super Bowl tickets for a home game would have sold out in record time if they were anything close to the average rate. Due to COVID-19 regulations, Raymond James Stadium’s capacity is limited, and the tickets go back to being available only to the most wealthy from around the country.

The Buccaneers had a chance at home-field advantage. Imagine a Super Bowl in front of 60,000 fans wearing red and pewter jerseys as the cannons fire after a Buccaneer touchdown. Now, that image has been dashed for a fraction of the potential crowd, and the advantage dissipates.

The players will surely be grateful to be at home, but their support will be very different with this crowd. The Bucs aren’t new to having their home stadium filled below capacity, but this still hurts. In a year with Tom Brady and the most success since 2003, the fanbase doesn’t get to share in the glory in the same way.

“What ifs” always hurt in the world of sports, and we’ll always look back on this year as the time where thousands of Bucs fans around the Tampa area were robbed of seeing their team play in a Super Bowl with their own eyes.

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