Saints Fans Take Over Raymond James In Road Win Over Buccaneers
An announced crowd of 54,333 saw the Buccaneers' 34-17 loss to the Saints at Raymond James Stadium, but the crowd was "especially stacked in favor" of the visiting Saints, according to Monique Welch of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Yesterday's crowd number was a 35.7% increase from last week, when only 40,038 saw the Bucs beat the Cardinals. However, it "wasn't because Bucs fans filled the stands." Bucs supporters yesterday "began trickling out of the stadium in the fourth quarter, and by the end of the game, there were barely any Bucs fans left." Throughout the game, Saints fans chanted, "Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints," every time the team scored or made a good play. The chant "grew louder later in the game." Through yesterday's game, the Bucs "rank 29th among the NFL's 32 teams in average home attendance this season at 53,100." Only the Raiders, Bengals and Chargers rank lower (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/18).
ALL HANDS ON DECK: In Tampa, Eduardo Encina noted the Bucs' attendance fall "coincides with a decade-plus of on-field struggles." This is a franchise that once had a "season-ticket waiting list of more than 100,000 people." Bucs season-ticket holder Jason De La Torre: "Raymond James used to be a great home-field advantage. Now it seems it's home for opposing fans." Encina noted fans of visiting teams "still fill Raymond James Stadium despite recent attempts by the Bucs to cut out third-party ticket sellers." The Bucs' attendance average is down 21.99% since the '15 season, but this season's challenges are "unique." The Bucs played two home games in September -- "disappointing losses to the 49ers and Giants -- then over seven weeks played six games away from home." Before the Cardinals game, the last Bucs home crowd under 50,000 was the Cardinals’ last trip to Tampa, in '13, which drew 44,956. Meanwhile, the Bucs this week will "debut the Intel True View system, which will utilize 38 5K ultrahigh definition cameras to create a 360-degree replay that will allow fans in the stadium to see plays from every angle" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/17).