Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bucs’ average home attendance down 2.4 percent in 2017

Attendance at Bucs home games dropped slightly in 2017, but only by 2.4 percent in actual attendance despite the team going from 9-7 last season to a disappointing 5-11 this year.

Sunday's final home game against the Saints had a season low for announced (55,376) and actual attendance (45,542) at Raymond James Stadium.

The season average for announced attendance — based on tickets distributed — finished at 59,952, down only 1.1 percent from last year's average of 60,625. The actual attendance — a turnstile count reported to the Tampa Sports Authority — averaged 51,912, down 2.4 percent from 53,176 in 2016.

The ratio of the two attendance averages reflects the turnout rate among fans with tickets — that figure also dropped slightly, from 87.7 percent in 2016 to 86.6 percent this season.

The Bucs finished 29th out of 32 NFL teams in average home announced attendance — that's down one spot from 28th a year ago, with the Bears passing Tampa Bay in the rankings.

Next season, with home games that include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs have top-drawing  opponents that should help with their attendance.