Slow ticket sales not a new problem
The Bucs have finally given up on perpetuating the notion that there is a lengthy, 100,000-person waiting list for season tickets. They're now offering partial season ticket packages with no deposit and season tickets can be had for the asking.
From where I sit, there hasn't been a waiting list in quite a while. But that's difficult to prove since the team has only disseminated an extremely limited amount of information regarding the status of sales. But I point to the 2007 playoff game against the Giants, a home game in which the Bucs were thought to have a good chance to win (in hindsight, boy were we wrong). The Bucs went down to the wire in avoiding a blackout for the game, announcing a sellout only after the deadline passed 72 hours before kickoff.
And, if you were at the game, you surely noticed the huge number of Giants fans who came from elsewhere and gobbled up the oodles of available tickets. And surely you noticed the patches of empty seats at various games in 2008, even though the Bucs at one point looked like a team of destiny. The huge increase in prices in 2008 didn't help, and now that the economy has worsened, even fewer people are willing to pay 30 percent more than they used to.
I have a very strong feeling there will be blackouts this fall. That's not necessarily an indictment of the players or coaching, but it's reality. There's a perfect storm of factors. The economy. Fans who lack confidence in the team. And the general passiveness of the Tampa Bay sports fan.
For their sake, the Bucs had better get off to a fast start -- something that will be difficult considering the early-season slate of games -- or the Glazer family might have to go to even greater lengths to fill the stadium.