The Tampa Bay Buccaners' preseason game Thursday night against the New England Patriots will not sell out by tonight's 72-hour deadline and will be blacked out on local television, according to Bucs officials.
Also, team officials believe the current pace of ticket sales for next week's preseason contest against the Dolphins and the majority of home games during the regular season will also fall short of sellouts. The club is optimistic about the chances for sellouts for the team's two prime-time games.
Under NFL rules, games not sold out at least 72 hours before kickoff are blacked out in the local television market, which extends to markets in a 75-mile radius. Thursday's game will be broadcast on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday on Channel 10-WTSP.
The Bucs last season were the only team in the NFL to have all 10 of their home games (preseason and regular-season combined) blacked out.