No sellout, no problem. That was the motto for the 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You might ask yourself how that would not be a problem for an organization, but when that organization buys the remaining tickets that fans haven’t purchased, it takes care of a major concern — the local television market.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Bucs bought their own unsold tickets in 2009. Although Derrick Ward thought Tampa Bay had as good an offense as any team in the league, fans still were not showing up. There is an NFL rule that allows teams to purchase their leftover tickets at 34 cents on the dollar to prevent television blackouts, and the Bucs took advantage of that policy last season. What should you do when your team stinks? If you’re Bucs director of communications Jonathan Grella, blame the economy:
While on-field success surely affects ticket sales, the economic downturn has proven to have a dramatic influence over ticket sales in this and other sports,” Grella said. “Tampa is suffering from the League’s largest unemployment increase (9.3 percent) in the past five years and the second-worst overall unemployment rate (13.3 percent). So when that’s the case, you can’t take anything for granted. We’ve redoubled our efforts to stay connected with our fans through free events and more affordable seating options ($35 per game season tickets, $25 youth tickets, long-term payment plans and no more club seat deposits or contracts).”