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Bucs' once hot ticket sales cool this year

The Buccaneers won't say whether price increases have affected ticket sales, but this much is clear: They're not lying off the shelves.

The Bucs made what was described as a "limited number" of single-game tickets available for sale Friday, but a search of seat inventory showed numerous seats available for most regular-season games.

Tickets have been hard to come by, even months in advance, since the opening of Raymond James Stadium in 1998. Every game at the Tampa 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 game, according to Ticketmaster.

But prime seats for the remaining games can be had. As of early Friday evening, there were many blocks of at least eight available lower-bowl seats — the per-household purchase limit — for most games.

A fallout from this could be home games on TV. Since 1998, all Bucs home games have been shown locally but that could be in jeopardy. NFL teams must sell out a home game 72 hours prior for it to be shown locally.

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 people who chose not to renew, and the potential for sagging sales exists.

During a call to the team's ticket office, 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. 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, declined to give an official response to a request for comment.

Bucs' once hot ticket sales cool this year 08/08/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:28pm]
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