NFL Blackout hits the Bay area for the first time

Imran Ahmed, Web Editor

For the first time since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opened up at Raymond James Stadium in 1997, the Bucs had to blackout a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, was not seen on local TV, followed by another blackout August 28 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s been a tough time for people everywhere and selling tickets has become even more difficult for the Bucs considering they are rebuilding their squad with young budding stars like Josh Freeman, rookie Gerald McCoy, Sammie Stroughter, and under the radar 4th round draft pick Mike Williams, who has raised some eyebrows at training camp and in the preseason. However, the only people that are able to watch the home games are sitting in the stadium, which hasn’t had stellar turnouts the last few games.

With an average of 42,000 people attending the Bucs preseason games, it’s safe to say that the Bucs won’t be broadcasting all of their home games in the Tampa Bay area during the regular season. The Bucs have tried their best to sell tickets by reducing the amount of season ticket costs, cutting the price of tickets for children, and trying vigorously to sell single game tickets. Unfortunately, all these methods of selling tickets haven’t come through for the team and the only way these games could be broadcasted in the area is if the NFL banishes the blackout rule. This rule states that if a team does not sell out their home game within 72 hours before the kickoff, it will be not be shown live within a 75 mile radius of the stadium. Games are shown on tape delay the next morning but watching a game when it’s not live is just not the same, especially the feeling of experiencing the dramatic finishes which definitely occurred last year during a dismal 3-13 season.

So if you can’t watch the Bucs home games this season, stay optimistic because the NFL has been talking about banishing the blackout rule because of the recession and inability for many people to purchase season tickets. Also keep in mind that you can still watch away games the NFL has no policy on blacking out away games, so at least there is the ability to watch those games, but if you really have to see the Bucs then buy some tickets and head out to Raymond James Stadium, pending a miraculous start when tickets might start to sell out.