TAMPA — For much of the past decade, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers boasted they had more than 100,000 fans on a waiting list for season tickets.
Now, nobody is standing in line.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed Thursday they are making season tickets available to anyone who wants them without delay.
The economic strife coupled with a team that has not won a playoff game since 2003 and the success of the Tampa Bay Rays has eroded the legion of Tampa Bay Buccaneers 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.
In 2007, the Bucs estimated the waiting list at 145,000.
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 Stadium opened in 1998.
New ticket options for 2009 include:
• Four- and five-game packages.
• No deposits for some upper level seats.
• Youth pricing plans.
• Flexible payment plans.
"We've been working with season ticket holders and people on our waiting list to make seats available," Bucs communications director Jeff Kamis said.
"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 did not say how many seats will be available for the stadium that holds about 65,000.
The Bucs have sold out every game since the stadium's opening. But failure to do so will result in home games not being shown on local television.
During the NFL owners' meetings in March, Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer forecasted the team would have to adjust its 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. "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 their 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 might not be able to sell out all home games.
"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."