August 10, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano (80) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Ronde Barber (20) and defensive back Anthony Gaitor (26) during the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
In spite of the positive news, the renewed excitement for the team, the efforts made to sell more tickets and the lowering of the blackout threshold to 85%, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first home game of the year is still blacked out. The team failed to sell enough tickets for Friday's matchup between the Bucs and Titans to have it televised locally, which means that everyone within roughly a 100-mile radius of Raymond James Stadium will have to go to the stadium or outside the blackout radius to see it live. Channel 10 will air the game on tape delay at 11:35 p.m. and again on Saturday at noon.
With season ticket sales still ongoing and this just being a preseason game, it's certainly still possible that the Bucs will avoid blackouts for all regular season games. But the fact that this preseason game is blacked out means season ticket sales are not enough in and of themselves to stop the blackouts. The Bucs managed to avoid blackouts on two occasions last season: on Monday Night Football and when the Dallas Cowboys came to town. They also had some games with incredibly low turnouts, with September's game against the Atlanta Falcons as the low point with a reported attendance of just 46,995. If the team wants to avoid blackouts, it will have to sell significantly more tickets than it did that Sunday.