By now you have read the news that the Glazers have decided not to increase ticket prices and in fact have even lowered prices in a few areas. You've also probably read some of the bone-headed comments on the fish-wrap.com sites, and as one of our average Bucem.com regulars, you were able to rip apart the stupidity from the common sense like a banana from its peel.
But what does it all REALLY mean? How much will you have to pay?
Well for one, the Bucs really did lower ticket prices, in an effort to get people back into season tickets; they have made it cheaper for you to purchase season tickets than to buy them single.
How? The Bucs lowered prices substantially in two areas, the biggest being the upper side of the end zones, which went from $65 down to $35. That is a 46% reduction in cost, and means you can buy a season ticket for 350 dollars, with no seat deposit, which we will get more into that shortly! The other reduction is in the upper corners of the stadium, which was also $65 dollars last year, and is now $49; a 23% slash in cost. You can see the whole field for fewer than 500 bucks for the year.
The most expensive general seat is 99 dollars if you are buying season tickets. If your not, that seat will cost you $115 dollars, however that has not changed since last year. So the most expensive seat in the house (not counting club seats), has not gone up at all, and you will save 16 dollars per ticket, plus, according to a Bucs representative I talked to, there are ticket fees you must pay when you buy single seats, those are waived when you buy season tickets, so that increases the savings to 20 dollars per game, or 200 dollars.
In the biggest change since 1998, this seat will only cost 990 dollars for the year, because there will no longer be a seat deposit required, FOR ANY AREA OF RAYMOND JAMES! That’s right….. NO more seat deposits at the Ray Jay.
Youth ticket options are also available, and while that is not something new for 2010, its still a very nice gesture. Your kiddo only need be 16 and under, and their seat is only 32.50, and that is for ANYWHERE in the upper area of the stadium.
With no more seat deposits, the Bucs are hoping they have priced themselves back into the range of the average resident. While most people probably wont have the money up front for several tickets, even without the seat license, now they wont have to. While last year the Bucs let you get your tickets and pay with a couple installments, this year the Bucs will let you pay in 4 easy installments, finishing off your purchase by May. No money is required to be put down either, so if you purchased the expensive seats, you would have until Feb 1st to make your first payment of 247.50 for each seat. The removal of the seat deposit makes the whole thing do-able again.
So lets talk about all the trash you are seeing talked about on the other sites, from people without a clue, or the necessary tools required to simply look into something and discover the truth. Some of the out right lies or un-truths;
It's more expensive in 2010 than 2009 for the same seat! The Glazers Lie, it’s not the same price: Not true, I’ve just shown you that not one price has gone up, and two areas have gone down. Plus there are half season packages, youth pricing and no more seat deposits. The cost is more than last year because you are paying for ten games now, not 9 as in last year, when the Bucs went to England for a game at Wembley Stadium.
It wont be enough, the Bucs still wont sell out because the home slate of games doesn’t have enough teams to bring their own fans, so get used to black outs! Hmm, didn't we hear that one in September and August? And yet not one blackout; even though attendance at the Ray Jay decreased by 10.1% in 2009 from the year before, and that was ANNOUNCED attendance! Truth is, these cheap Glazers who don’t care about the fans anymore, have lowered prices, removed seat deposits, and have lifted the blackouts designed by congress to protect owners. Question is will you give the team a chance before you swear to not renew your season tickets that you don’t even probably have?
The Glazers screwed me last year, so I’m just going to sit at home on my sofa, and I don’t care if the games black out or not because I will instead of paying for tickets, pay for "Sunday Ticket" on Direct TV. Excellent idea, that’s a great package. But you still wont get to see the Bucs games if they Black Out, or did you think Direct TV gets to circumnavigate the NFL and the US Congress' black out rules?
Lets take a look at the teams the Bucs will be facing at home next year...
Atlanta, Carolina, and New Orleans: Our home and away division mates will be back again next season. We narrowly lost to the Panthers on a last minute drive. Atlanta was locked into a pretty tight game till the end. Only the Saints, who are headed to the NFC Championship game, really took it to us this past year. Of course, we Beat the Saints in their home, and lost close ones to the Falcons and Panthers again.
Cleveland: The Brownies will keep their coach but have new front office staff led by Mike Holmgren. Yes they went on a late season win streak, but they beat teams in the last four games that were a combined 25-49. Take out the Steelers who finished 9-7 and it really gets lopsided.
Detroit: They will bring a good passing offense; something even in 2009 we did good at stopping once we went back to the Tampa Two.
Pittsburgh: They faded in the end, and this will be an interesting match up of Tomlin vs. Morris; can the protégé win?
Seattle: We beat them on the west coast; they should be retooling most of the year.
St. Louis: Simply put, the worst team in football shouldn't be looked at as anything but a win.
With the East-West and Senior Bowl games, Scouting Combine, Free Agency and the NFL Draft coming up, Bucs fans may soon find themselves with plenty of reasons to get excited about next year.