TAMPA — Despite dropping from a 9-7 record in 2016 to a disappointing 5-11 in 2017, the Bucs are raising prices for new season-ticket holders for the third year in a row.
Season-ticket members got an email Tuesday, telling them they had until March 15 to renew their tickets for the upcoming season, or they'd be charged the newer, mostly higher prices, in some cases as much as $500 more per ticket.
The team had gone eight years in a row without raising prices until 2016, and now has done so three straight years. The Bucs haven't been to the playoffs since 2007 and haven't won a playoff game since the Super Bowl in January 2003.
Lower-level tickets on the home side of the field are up about $250 per seat — the two center sections closest to the 50-yard line will go up from $1,350 to $1,600. Those same seats were $990 in 2015, an increase of 62 percent over three years.
Lower end-zone seats are up less, from $800 to $900, but the lower corner sections have among the largest increases, going from $950 to $1,300 per seat. Some lower-level sections on the visitors' side of the field remain unchanged from last season.
The cheapest upper-level tickets remain $450, and an additional eight sections of the upper level corners will be available for $500 per seat. The stadium's new "Stadium Club" seats vary, with some staying at the same price point and others up as much as $500.
Despite the dropoff in their record and talk of boycotts relating to player protests during the national anthem, the Bucs saw only a modest dropoff in attendance in 2017. The average announced home attendance, based on tickets distributed, dropped 1.1 percent to 59,952, while the average actual home attendance dropped 2.4 percent, to 51,912.
Tampa Bay finished 29th out of 32 NFL teams in average announced home attendance, down one spot from 28th in 2016.