Making Sense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Blackouts Problem

On Monday, Sept. 10 I talked to Mickey Farrell of Tampa Sports Authority regarding attendance at Raymond James Stadium for this past Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

· 51,533 tickets were sold or comped.
· 46,758 was the count through the turnstiles.
· Capacity of RayJay is 65,890.

Per Mickey, this breaks out to approximately 13,000 premium seats and 53,000 non-premium seats. So, to get to the 85% threshold to avoid the blackout would require selling of 45,000 non-premium seats (85% of 53,000). So, without knowing how many of the 51,533 tickets were comped and how many were premium seating, we cannot calculate how many tickets we are short of preventing the blackout.

This means one of two things:

1) If one assumes that the % of tickets sold/comped for premium and non-premium were the same for this game: 51,533/65,890 = 78%, then that translates to 78% of 13,000 = 10,140 premium seats sold/comped. Thus non-premium seats sold/comped = 51,533 – 10,140 = 41,393. Thus the shortfall of meeting the 85% would be 45,000 – 41,393 – non-premium comp seats = 3,607 + non-premium comp seats.

Assuming an average ticket price for non-premium seats of $72, that translates to about $25 per seat cost to the Glazers (34%) if they were to buy the tickets needed to get to the 85% threshold.
$25 x 3,607 = $90,175. So the cost to prevent the blackout would be $90,175 + ($25 x number of non-premium comped tickets).


2) If one assumes that 100% of the premium tickets sold, then about another 3,000 non-premium tickets would have not been sold, so the total shortfall would have been about 6,600 tickets. At $25 per ticket, that would translate to $165,000 cost for the Glazers to buy up the tickets.

So here we have a case where the Glazers (receiving about $15,000,000 per year for 30 years for the full care and feeding of RayJay) with net worth of $2.7 billion, could have prevented the blackout for the opening game for about $100,000, keeping in mind distribution of those free tickets would have generated additional parking and concession revenue. To put into perspective, sort of, how little $100,000 is to the Glazers, let’s compute what % of their net worth this is and then compare that for the same % of net worth for someone worth $100,000.

100,000/2,700,000,000 = .000037 = .0037%

.0037% of $100,000 = $3.70

So for the equivalent of $3.70, the Glazers could have shown the game. Instead, they chose to be selfish, thereby depriving a community (that has greatly facilitated the Glazers’ continual rise to more and more personal wealth) of local TV broadcasting revenues, increased restaurant/pub business, and most importantly, access to viewing the game for hundreds of thousands of ‘fans’ who, for whatever reason, do not attend games in person.

What a shame.

Scott Myers is a Bucs fan who has lived in Tampa for the last 20 years. He is married with four children and works in IT.

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