The Tampa Bay Buccaneers this morning announced plans to open sales of individual-game tickets later this week, a process that will go a long way toward determining the commitment level of many average fans to attend more games.
But in addition to that, the Bucs made official plans to celebrate the most important achievement in the team's history: The 2002 Super Bowl victory.
We're already nearly 10 years removed from that euphoric night in San Diego, and the Bucs are going to mark the occasion with a celebration scheduled for the Dec. 9 game against the Eagles. We don't yet know what the event will entail, but it presumably will involve many members of that championship team.
And no, it's not a coincidence that the Super Bowl win will be marked when the Bucs play the Eagles. I don't have to tell you it was the crushing defeat the Bucs handed the Eagles at Veterans Stadium in the 2002 NFC Championship Game that propelled the Bucs to the Super Bowl, where they defeated the Oakland Raiders.
There are several other special events scheduled during other games that you might already be aware of.
We've previously told you about plans to honor Ronde Barber's 200th consecutive start during the Sept. 9 season opener against the Panthers (the Bucs are offering several perks such as some free parking and reduced concessions prices).
On Oct. 14, when the Bucs host the Chiefs, Paul Gruber will become the newest member of the Ring of Honor, joining Lee Roy Selmon, John McKay and Jimmie Giles.
And on Oct. 21 against NFC South rival New Orleans, the Bucs will play their fourth consecutive "throwback" game, complete with the orange Bucco Bruce uniforms.
All of this is loosely related to the franchise's efforts to get fans more engaged, enticing them to come to Raymond James Stadium more often after several years of struggles.
Here is the official release from the team:
BUCCANEERS INDIVIDUAL GAME TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, JULY 27
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that individual game tickets for the team's 2012 home slate will go on sale Friday, July 27, at 10 a.m. Individual game tickets can be found at a wide variety of price points, starting as low as $30.
"The 2012 season is finally upon us, and we can't wait to welcome Bucs fans back to Raymond James Stadium to be a part of it. We're looking forward to the start of a new era and are counting on our fans to play a role in the team's success by helping to maximize our home-field advantage," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer.
Season Pass, Stadium Club and Luxury Suite Members will have the advantage of a presale, which will start today, Monday, July 23, at 10 a.m. This presale is part of an ongoing effort to provide exclusive membership benefits.
Digital Buc Nation, those fans who follow the official Buccaneers Twitter feed or "like" the team's official Facebook page, will enjoy a 24-hour presale, starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 26.
The Buccaneers kick off the 2012 regular season with a home opener against the Carolina Panthers on September 9, where the club will celebrate the NFL's Back to Football initiative and also honor CB Ronde Barber for the achievement of his 200th consecutive start. As part of the event, fans will be treated to half-priced food and non-alcoholic drinks, free parking in select lots, and a commemorative Barber giveaway.
Other gameday themes include the popular Breast Cancer Awareness game, to be held on October 14 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. This year, the game will also feature the induction of Buccaneers great Paul Gruber into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime. The annual fan-favorite Throwback Game returns on October 21, as the Buccaneers face the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay will then fittingly celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Super Bowl XXXVII Championship on December 9, when the Philadelphia Eagles - the team the Buccaneers defeated in the 2002 NFC Championship Game - travel to Raymond James Stadium.
To purchase individual game tickets, fans may visit www.Buccaneers.com or call (800) 745-3000. Tickets will not be sold at the Buccaneers Ticket Office or Raymond James Stadium. Those interested in becoming season pass members can also visit the team's website, or may call 866-582-BUCS.
2012 Home Game Schedule
DAY DATE OPPONENT TIME
Fri. Aug. 17 Tennessee 7:30 PM
Fri. Aug. 24 New England 7:30 PM
Sun. Sept. 9 Carolina 4:25 PM
Sun. Sept. 30 Washington 4:25 PM
Sun. Oct. 14 Kansas City 1:00 PM
Sun. Oct. 21 New Orleans 1:00 PM
Sun. Nov. 11 San Diego 1:00 PM
Sun. Nov. 25 Atlanta 1:00 PM
Sun. Dec. 9 Philadelphia 1:00 PM
Sun. Dec. 23 St. Louis 1:00 PM