9,000 Tickets to Avoid Blackout? Not so fast.

Aug 24, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano yells at head linesman Tom Falcinelli (not pictured) for a delay of game penalty during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay defeated New England 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

I woke up this morning to the whole Bucs universe freaking out over the "fact" that the team needs to sell 9,000 tickets in order to avoid a blackout in the home opener against the Carolina Panthers. Maybe I was bored, or maybe I just have no life, but I decided to hop on Bucs website and take a look for myself. I was quickly directed to the Ticketmaster site the Bucs use to sell tickets online. You can view this same site for the Carolina game right here.

Notice anything strange? It sure doesn't look like 9,000 dark blue dots on those available seats. In fact, by my tedious and extremely time consuming count, the Bucs have less than 3,000 seats available for the Carolina game. 2,177 to be exact. Now that was constantly updating because the page refreshes itself, and I'll be generous and even give myself a 100 seat margin for error. Those blue dots do begin to blend together a bit after awhile.

I'm a little confused because it seems the Bucs are pretty close to selling out, and have already hit the threshold needed to avoid blackouts.

So, either Ticketmaster doesn't have all the seats for sale listed, the Bucs have sold six thousand tickets since that press release was issued, or that figure was highly inaccurate to begin with.

At the rate the blue dots were disappearing from my screen as I was counting them, it seems that the press release may have served it's intended purpose and motivated fans to quit dragging their feet in purchasing tickets for the opener.

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