SBD/Issue 134/Franchises

Buccaneers Anticipate Blackouts Of Home Games This Season

Buccaneers Could Experience Local Blackouts
For First Time During Glazers' Reign

Buccaneers co-Chair Joel Glazer yesterday at the NFL owners meetings said that the team's season-ticket base is "in the '40,000s' and that it's likely home games next season will be blacked out on local television for the first time in the 15 years the Glazer family has owned the club," according to Rick Stroud of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. Glazer: "Based on where we're at today, ... realistically, we are staring at having games blacked out in our local market. I bring that up because I don't want people to be surprised when they get to September and ... the game is not on TV." Glazer added blackouts are "not what we want." Glazer: "We're working hard to avoid it, and I think people are starting to see what we're trying to do with younger players, and [QB] Josh Freeman, and building around that. ... But we're in uncharted waters that we haven't seen in 15 years." Stroud notes the Buccaneers "in an effort to increase ticket sales" have "lowered prices for next season." Tickets "start as low as $35 per seat per game, and youth tickets are $25," but "so far, nothing has worked" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/25).

DOWN BY THE BAY: Glazer yesterday said that his family's "financial commitment to its NFL team has not wavered since its purchase" of Manchester United. He vowed the family will do "whatever we've got to do to win." Glazer: "There are a lot of owners that own a lot of other businesses. They're just not the high-profile nature that is easy for people to write about and talk about. Tampa has always operated independently and is sustained. It's very healthy. Unfortunately, there are a couple of events that have been happening at the same time that give the appearance -- and I can understand why people say that or think that. ... But I can assure people the commitment has not lessened. It's not wavered." Glazer added the "depression" at the Buccaneers' 0-7 start last season was "something I've never felt before in my entire life" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/25). Glazer added the Buccaneers "stand on their own." Glazer: "It's a very healthy franchise. Our business interests are all very healthy" (TAMPABAY.com, 3/24). 

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