Are the Bucs still a hot ticket?
I thought I'd post a copy of a story that will run in Saturday's newspaper about the state of the Bucs' ticket sales.
No one from the team has given us an official comment or even characterized how sales are going, but there's a lot of circumstantial evidence to support the idea that this year's steep increases might create a problem. We are not predicting TV blackouts here. Nothing of the sort. Just giving you a sense for a story that will be something to watch over the next several weeks.
Here's the story:
The Bucs won’t say whether steep price increases have affected ticket sales, but this much is clear: they’re not exactly flying off the shelves.
The Bucs made what was described as a “limited number” of single-game tickets available for sale Friday morning, but a search of seat inventory showed numerous seats available for most regular-season contests.
Most years since the opening of Raymond James Stadium in 1998, tickets have been hard to come by, even months in advance. Every game at the venue has been sold out. This year, only the Sept. 28 game against Green Bay has proven a challenge to those wishing to secure seats. Only scattered seats remain for that contest, according to Ticketmaster.
But prime seats for the remaining games – including the Oct. 19 night game against Seattle during which Mike Alstott will be honored – can be had. As of early Friday evening, there were for most games many blocks of at least eight available lower-bowl seats – the per-household purchase limit.
The Bucs announced sharp increases in prices this season, some as much as 30 percent. Couple that with the expiration of thousands of seat licenses and the many people who chose not to renew, and the potential for sagging sales exists.
During a call to the Buccaneers ticket office on Friday, a representative said a request for season tickets would require a customer be added to the waiting list, estimated by the team in February 2007 to be 145,000 long. But Friday, the representative estimated the list at 70,000 and suggested season tickets could be purchased as soon as 2009.
The Bucs, who don’t disclose details on ticket sales, gave no official response to a request for comment.
STEPHEN F. HOLDER