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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs increase price of season tickets for second straight year

18

February

After enjoying their first winning season in six years, the Bucs are making some of their fans pay more to see a game at Raymond James Stadium in 2017.

For the second year in a row, the Bucs are raising season ticket prices in most seats, with increases as much as 20 percent for some upper and lower level seats.

The team began a social media blitz advertising season ticket passes Saturday.

The Bucs raised ticket prices last season for the first time in eight years. Prior to that increase, Tampa Bay had the second lowest ticket price in the NFL in 2015 with an average price of $62.35.

But the two-year hike has seen the price of some upper level seats increase by as much as 50 percent, going from $300 to $450. Ten other upper-level sections have gone from $350 to $500, a two-year increase of 43 percent. Lower level 50-yard line seats have gone from $990 to $1350 over the same period, an increase of 36 percent.

For 2017, some seats will remain unchanged."

The Bucs went 9-7 in their first year under head coach Dirk Koetter last season, narrowly missing the playoffs but expanding their post-season drought to nine seasons.

But the Bucs saw only a minor dip in attendance in 2016 despite the ticket price increases, with an average announced attendance of 60,624, down about 1.5 percent from the 2015 announced average of 61,560. That drop put the Bucs at 28th out of 32 NFL teams in average attendance, after ranking 26th in 2015.

"Feeding off the tremendous energy and excitement of the recently completed 2016 season, we know that Bucs fans are already looking forward to what should be one of the most anticipated seasons in recent memory,'' said Bucs Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. "The upcoming 2017 season marks only the second time in the past nine years that we have had to increase member pricing. Our focus is always on providing our fans with a world-class atmosphere when they are visiting Raymond James Stadium and we are proud that we have been able to continue enhancing the game day experience while still maintaining one of the most affordable ticket prices in the NFL.

Ford also noted that despite the increase, the Bucs are still among the lower third of the league in average general seat pricing.

The Bucs underwent the first phase of a $140-million stadium renovation project, highlighted by 31,000 square feet of video board space and a new sound system. They also added all-inclusive Hall of Fame Clubs, each of which houses 240 comfortable seats in 9,500 square feet of air-conditioned space.

More major expansion of the club areas are expected to begin later this month. While the in-game experienced has been heightened, Bucs fans will be paying more for it.

The Bucs will have an attractive home schedule that includes a visit from both Super Bowl LI teams – the world champion New England Patriots and NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. The Bucs also have home games against the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.

Here’s a breakdown of the 2017 season pass increases:

UPPER LEVEL: More than half of the stadium's upper-level sections saw a $50 increase in season tickets, as much as 12 percent, though 12 sections saw prices stay the same from 2016.

LOWER LEVEL: All lower-level regular seats saw price increases, with most going up $50 per seat. Of 48 lower-level sections, 36 saw tickets go up $50 (as low as 7 percent), 12 went up $100 and two went up $200, which is more than 20 percent.

STADIUM CLUB: Some of the stadium's most expensive "Stadium Club" seats saw only modest increases -- none of the West side sections increased by more than $50, and four sections actually went down from $2,250 to $2,000 per seat. On the East side, the most expensive sections remained the same price, while other sections saw increases of $150-205 per seat.

[Last modified: Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:32pm]

    

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