Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
So far, the score on home game ticket sales does not look good for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three games into the season, the Bucs are on their third blackout as they've just announced that Sunday's game will not be shown locally. This means that if you live within roughly 125 miles of the stadium (depending on your exact location) you will not be able to watch the game between the Bucs and Chiefs live on television - not even if you have Sunday Ticket.
Despite this gloomy news, there's some upside for the long term. Week 4's game against the Washington Redskins had a paid attendance of 58,191 - only a few thousand short of an actual sell-out. Given the fact that the Bucs only need to sell 85% of their general attendance tickets to avoid a blackout, they cannot have been far off. That attendance represented a massive uptick over last year, when the Bucs saw an attendance of just 46,995 against the Atlanta Falcons in week 3.
While blackouts haven't been avoided, ticket sales do appear to be trending upwards. Moving September home games to the 4:15 p.m. slot appears to have helped, and the Tampa Bay area is clearly excited about the direction of this team - even if fans are starting to have doubts about Josh Freeman. Will the Bucs actually manage to avoid one blackout this season, though?