Buccaneers could buy out black out

7:30 PM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida-- This season the NFL approved a new black out rule, giving teams the option to sell out only 85 percent of their stadium in order to lift the blackout.

"I never had liked the black outs and never could quite understand it, but I think they owe it to us," said Doug Sanders of Tierra Verde.

The Buccaneers chose to utilize this opportunity, to give fans a better chance to tune in to Tampa Bay home games.

But even with the new rule, the Bucs are failing to sell the minimum requirement of tickets. According to the NFL, in order to meet the 85 percent rule, 44,000 seats must be filled at Raymond James Stadium during a game. 

Over the last two years, the Bucs have managed that feat just twice out of 19 home games.

According to the attendance records from last season, they averaged more than 46,000 per game, but the Problem was that included luxury suites and club seating.

So how do the Buccaneers buck the trend?

They certainly can't tell mother nature to cool down, and there isn't a clear cut way to turn up the heat on fans and get them to attend games.

"The home experience is awesome, but you miss out on a bit of that at the game," said season ticket holder John Curtis of Spring Hill.

"It's the preseason and the economic situation locally...it's a little bit expected, although I hope it doesn't go into the regular season," said Sharon Keel of Trinity.

The Buccaneers haven't necessarily done all they can either. The NFL says teams can buy up the remaining seats in order to hit that 85 percent, costing them only 34 cents on the dollar.

Fans may choose a ceiling fan over a screaming fan, but you can't argue the fact: there's nothing like being at the game.

"The excitement, the crowd, they're going out there, being involved...You feel a part of it, and to walk out and see the stadium live, it's like being a part of the Buccaneers."

Yet, so far this season, the fans are wanting to watch the Buccaneers instead of be a part of them.

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