Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Number of blackouts in 2012:
Second-year coach Greg Schiano's decision to have his defense dive at the New York Giants' offensive line during a late-game kneeldown was the team's biggest
highlight of the year in 2012. It was also one of the few 2012 highlights Bucs fans got to watch live.
Six out of eight home game were blacked out in the 2012 season. That's 25 out of the past 29 overall.
The only games the team sold out last year were a home loss to the New Orleans Saints, their division rivals, and a random matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles -- one of the few teams in the league worse than the Buccaneers this year. The fan base just suffered through its second straight losing season after the Buccaneers went 10-6 in 2010, but the problems run much deeper than the on-field product.
Attendance for a majority of the team's blacked-out home games in the two seasons before this fell below the new 85% mark, but all the better for deflecting blame to the NFL itself. Besides, that keeps the heat off the Glazer family of owners that not only moved a Bucs home game to London in 2009 and 2011, but has been more mentally invested in England than in Tampa thanks to its ownership of Manchester United.
That could be a big reason why management hasn't bought up tickets for a third of the price and given them to charity -- a loophole exploited by several other NFL squads. It may just be blissfully unaware that its $69.72 average ticket price, which
Team Marketing Report
Fan Cost Index
says is nearly $10 below the league average, is still the costliest NFL ticket in Florida. By comparison, Seattle Seahawks fans in a far more economically stable city paid $2 less to see their team play each Sunday this year. That team made the playoffs last year.
There's a culture of apathy surrounding this team, and it keeps fans out of Raymond James Stadium and games off of television screens all over Tampa.