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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' Bryan Glazer suggests ticket sales still lagging

6

August

Bryan Glazer looked around at the animated crowd at Raymond James Stadium and smiled, taking pride in the turnout for a Bucs open practice that filled about half the venue’s lower bowl.

But in an interview Saturday night, the team’s co-chairman didn’t attempt to mask his club’s reality: Filling Raymond James on gameday remains a chore despite the Bucs fielding a team that has Glazer thinking big.

“We’re hoping (for sellouts) this year,” Glazer said. “Obviously the economy here is still in bad shape in the Tampa Bay area. But we think as the team wins and we move forward and the plan continues that the fans will start coming back.”

Asked about the early signs from single-game ticket sales, which began Friday, Glazer said: “There’s an increase, obviously, with the popularity of the two night games. But there’s still a ways to go. The economy is still in the same situation it has been. And we still have some tickets to sell.”

That seemed to be his way of saying blackouts remain likely this season, one year after the Bucs were the only team in the NFL to have all their home games blacked out on local television. Per NFL rules, games that do not sell out at least 72 hours before kickoff are not shown in the local TV market.

But Glazer, like the rest of the organization, continues to stress long-term objectives. He thinks the team is on pace to accomplish its goals.

“The plan is on schedule,” he said. “It’s working great. We got the pieces we needed. We keep adding to it and we have a young team that’s going to be good for a long, long time.”

Equally important, is selling the fanbase on the plan, one that includes building through the draft and eschewing free agent options that might be a quick fix.

“I think (fans) saw what happened at the end of last year,” Glazer said, referring to the Bucs’ playoff push that fell just short. “I think there are some people waiting to see what happens this year, but the plan continues to roll along. Each day, more and more people buy into it.”Many such people showed up Saturday.

“The turnout tonight is fantastic,” Glazer said. “Look at all these people on a Saturday night. We’re having a good time. . . We’re trying to make the team as accessible as we possibly can to all the people in the community, whether you can afford to come to a game or not. They’re still a Buccaneer fan.”

[Last modified: Saturday, August 6, 2011 9:49pm]

    

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