Even at 3-1, Bucs projecting blackout on Sunday and remainder of season
The Bucs are 3-1 and a half-game out of first place in the NFC South heading into a divisional showdown with the Saints on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
But even that won’t be enough to bring a sellout crowd.
A team spokesman confirmed today that the Bucs expects to fall short of a sellout against New Orleans and, most likely, for the remaining five home games after that. That means local television blackouts are virtually certain the rest of the way. The club’s previous two home games during the regular season and both its preseason home contests were blacked out, too.
NFL broadcast rules require that games be sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff or the telecast cannot be shown aired within a 75-mile radius of the stadium.
It was thought that the Bucs’ recent success coupled with a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints might spark ticket sales, but the Bucs’ season-ticket base (believed to be between 40,000 and 50,000) makes it particularly difficult to sell enough individual tickets to sell out the 65,000-seat stadium.
Blackouts are becoming increasingly common around the NFL, with Buffalo and Oakland subjected to them this past Sunday.