Bucs say no bay area blackouts for 2014 home games
For the second year in a row, the Bucs are making the commitment to casual fans that there will be no local TV blackouts, with all 2014 home games available for local TV broadcast.
The league's blackout rules state that a home game can't be shown locally if less than 85 percent of the non-premium seats have been sold, but a team short of that threshold can "purchase" unsold seats at a fraction of the price to lift the blackout. The Bucs made a similar announcement three games into last season, assuring local fans could watch the team's home games on TV.
The Bucs said "the majority" of the team's 2014 home games are projected to reach that 85 percent minimum, so the team might not have to write a large check to the league at all to assure no blackouts. This is a contrast to how the Bucs were from 2010-12, when only five of the team's 24 regular-season home games drew enough fans to be seen by local fans.
As it stands, only one home game -- on Dec. 21 against the Packers -- has sold enough tickets that fans can only get seats now through season tickets, or the secondary ticket market. The team's first home appearance this season is Saturday night for a preseason game against the Dolphins.
The Bucs ranked 29th out of 32 NFL teams in attendance last year with an announced average of 58,818 fans at Raymond James Stadium; they ranked 26th in the capacity sold for home games at 89.6 percent.