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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs to make season tickets available without wait



For much of the past decade, the Bucs boasted that they had more than 100,000 fans on a waiting list for season tickets.

Now nobody has to wait in line.

The Bucs confirmed Thursday they are making season tickets available to anyone who wants them without delay.

The economic strife, coupled with a Bucs team that has not won a playoff game since 2003, has eroded the legion of fans willing to put their names on a list for the chance to plunk down thousands of dollars for a seat deposit and season tickets.

To generate sales, the Bucs are offering partial season ticket packages and waiving seat deposits on some tickets for the first time since Raymond James opened in 1998.

The new ticket options for 2009 include:

--Four and five half-season ticket packages

--Some upper level seats available for purchase without seat deposits

--Lower level seats are available

--Special youth pricing plans

--Flexible payment plans for season tickets.

"We've been working with season ticket holders and people on our waiting list to make seats available,'' said Bucs communications director Jeff Kamis. "We've said we were going to try and be creative with the economy and make as many tickets available to as many people as we can.''

The Bucs have not revealed how many seats are available in RJS, which holds about 65,000 fans.

Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer forecasted in March at the NFL owner's meetings that the team would have to adjust their ticket plans because of lower-than-normal demand.

"Around the league, there's no question we are feeling the effect like a lot of other teams,'' Glazer said last March. "We are currently going through our renewal process but we are definitely seeing people that are affected by this economy and having an impact on thier ability to renew. And what we've done and will continue to do is kind of roll up our sleeves and figure out ways to be a little more creative to help people in these tough times...I think there are a lot of people being forced to sit on the sidelines because of the situation in the economy.''

Glazer stopped short of predicting the Bucs may not being able to sell out all their games, possibly forcing television blackouts.

"I think it's too early to tell,'' Glazer said. "We have great fans in Tampa, so whatever tickets aren't sold to season ticket holders, we'll work very hard to make sure the stadium is always full and the fans will be there.''

The Bucs 2009 season ticket package includes just nine games because the Bucs are playing a 'home' game in London against the Patriots.

For ticket information, call the Bucs sales office at 866-582-2827.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:31pm]


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