TAMPA — Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said again Friday that the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against Detroit at Raymond James Stadium is virtually certain to be blacked out on local television.
But he said the team is doing more to ensure more fans have access to affordable tickets.
Glazer said the team is in the process of adding more $35 entry-level seats for the Lions game that will be available as single-game tickets. That's a reaction to the pace of overall sales, which hasn't picked up nearly as much as the Bucs had hoped.
"Ticket sales are still slow," Glazer said in an interview on WDAE-AM 620. "We've got the two nationally televised games (against the Colts and Cowboys, in October and December, respectively) which are ahead of the other games this season (in sales). But we're still a long ways to go this year. We're just trying to be honest with the fans when we talk about how we expect the game next week to be blacked out. We just want to be realistic and not put expectations in people's minds."
NFL policy requires that games that do not sell out at least 72 hours before kickoff must be blacked out in television markets in a 75-mile radius of the host city. The Bucs, whose season-ticket base is estimated to be around 40,000, have more than 65,000 seats in Raymond James Stadium.
Also, Glazer was asked about the team's philosophy of eschewing many free agents and opting to go almost exclusively with homegrown talent.
"Teams let players go for a reason," he said. "Generally, there's only been one or two difference-makers in the last 10 years who have been released by teams, players who went to another team and lasted seven, eight, nine years. We're not looking for one-year solutions. I don't think anybody is."
INJURED CBs: Coach Raheem Morris said CB Aqib Talib's hamstring injury won't prevent him from playing against the Lions, though he didn't play in the preseason.
"I've seen him go out there and do it (before)," Morris said. "He's getting better. He ran the other day, and he looked great. We'll keep letting him get better, and he'll get ready for Detroit."
CB Myron Lewis, who is gaining a reputation for being injured, sustained an ankle injury in Thursday's preseason finale against the Redskins. The extent wasn't known. Lewis played one preseason game because he had an injured hamstring. "He's gotten a little bit snakebitten this preseason," Morris said.