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Buccaneers expect fewer blackouts in 2013 season

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect to come close to selling out more of their home games this year.

Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have struggled with blackouts the past three years. What once a long waiting list for season tickets evaporated over the past decade as the Bucs sunk deeper and deeper into irrelevance. But the past two years we've seen some signs of improvement. The Buccaneers still led the league in blackouts, but ticket sales appear to be trending upward.

Bryan Glazer said as much at today's night practice at Raymond James Stadium, telling the assembled crowd that things weren't looking as glum as they used to.

The Bucs had just two home games on local TV last year: the throwback game against the New Orleans Saints and a late-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Both were, incidentally, close losses.

The Bucs have a few games this year which are likely to sell out. Their October 13 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles is a good candidate to be on local television, while a November berth against the Falcons and a December matchup with the San Francisco 49ers could easily sell out, too. It's harder to see a scenario where games against the Cardinals and Bills will be visible on television, but if ticket sales pick up and the Bucs look good in the preseason and their early games it's certainly possible.

Due to NFL rules that were introduced last season it is no longer necessary for a game to sell out to be televised locally. A threshold of attendance of 85% was established for the Buccaneers and other teams that wished to lower their targets for attendance.

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