Bucs' attendance trending up for third straight year
With a near-sellout crowd expected for today's final Bucs home game against the Bears, Tampa Bay's home attendance is up for the third year in a row, entering today's game with an announced average of 61,249, a six-year high.
The Bucs have gotten help from opponents with strong fan bases -- the Cowboys, Giants and Bears have strong national followings -- but the average home crowd is up 2.7 percent from last year's average of 59,659. The Bucs' ranking among NFL teams in attendance hasn't changed, remaining at 29th out of 32 teams.
Attendance saw a significant dropoff from the 2009 season (62,991) to 2010 (49,314), but has steadily risen back since. Raymond James Stadium will undergo renovations to the video boards and sound systems before next season, with about $100-million in improvements completed by the 2017 season.