Bucs Making Effort To Win Back Fans With Gameday Specials, Stadium Improvements
The Buccaneers have “two goals" this season under rookie coach Greg Schiano: make the playoffs and "win back fans,” according to Jay Cridlin of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The team averaged 56,614 fans last year, down from 65,316 in '07. That resulted in having six home games blacked out locally, which was an improvement over "all eight regular-season home games" blacked out in '10. The Bucs "can count on 35,000 diehard fans to come to every game, no matter what." It is those "next 25,000 casual fans they now need to reach.” The team is trying to reach fans by “getting creative with ticket prices, technology and more at Raymond James Stadium.” The club has “gone all-out to try to ensure Sunday's opener against the Carolina Panthers is a sellout.” They will “offer free parking and half-price concessions (excluding alcohol), along with certain tickets discounted to $30 and $15 (for kids).” The team is offering free wireless Internet inside Raymond James Stadium this season and “brought in a Super Bowl-caliber production company to man its new replay system, featuring more cameras installed around the field so fans can get a better view of what just happened.” The franchise also had Portland-based Mutt Industries create a "slick new social network called ‘It's a Bucs Life’" that allows fans to “cluster together in ‘krewes,’ share photos and video on Twitter and Instagram, read stories and blog posts from both fans and the team, and more" (TAMPABAY.com, 9/5).
DOWN TO BUSINESS: In Tampa, Stephen Holder noted Schiano, Bucs co-Chair Bryan Glazer and GM Mark Dominik “made good use" of an appearance at Tuesday's "Chalk Talk" event at the Grand Hyatt, an "annual gathering bringing together the Clearwater Regional, St. Petersburg and Greater Tampa Chambers of Commerce.” Glazer made his sales pitch speaking before an “influential audience that included the kind of corporate customers the team needs more of.” Glazer said, “We're going to need you in our corner when we kick off at 4:25 this Sunday so we can re-establish an atmosphere that will fuel our team and frustrate our opponents.” Glazer “reiterated the team's efforts to close the sales gap created by a recessed local economy and apathy about the team,” citing efforts to “maintain or lower ticket prices.” He added that the team “asked for later kickoff times for early-season games to address the heat-related concerns of fans.” Bucs WR Vincent Jackson, RB Doug Martin and S Mark Barron also attended the event (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/5).