Say this for the Glazer family in Tampa, they are nothing if not consistent, when to comes to money and their own fans.
For the third year in a row, and despite losing at least 10 games twice in those three years, the Buccaneers will be raising their season ticket prices, again for 2018.
This is despite the fact that Bucs failed to make the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season, and have had seven losing seasons in the last nine since firing Jon Gruden in 2008.
Buccaneer season ticket holders have been emailed notifications that if they don’t renew their tickets by March 15th, that they will see increases in the lower level season price between $200-350 per ticket depending on the seat location.
In that email, is a video message from General Manager Jason Licht that can only be described as an “apologetic plea for patience.” In it he asked fans to not only have faith that the team will be better, but is almost trying to spin why the team has been bad in three of his four seasons. Yet, the tickets are still going up again.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) February 7, 2018
The Bucs have lost 42 games, since Licht took over as GM in 2014.
And as for the playoffs? Now that the Raiders (2016) and the Bills and Jaguars (2017) have made the post season recently, only the Browns have had a longer drought (2002) than the Buccaneers of playing extra games in January.
The risk that we reference for the Glazers is two-fold.
The first part is: the fan base is already apathetic and there’s a good chance there was going to be large lack of season ticket renewals anyway. However, they have now given people a galvanizing reason to stay away with the raising of prices without improving the results.
The second part of the risk is something we wrote about right after the 5-11 regular season ended. The Glazers were apparently choosing to make no significant changes to the coaching staff or to hire a new GM to replace Licht.
Now, it’s five weeks later and there’s been no announcement one way or the other about staff changes from head coach Dirk Koetter. So, the belief is that they have kept everyone on staff until they say otherwise.
Yet, you look around the NFL at teams who had winning records last year like Seattle, Carolina, and Tennessee who still fired staff members, and coordinators (the Titans even fired Mike Mularkey after making and winning a playoff game) to try to get better.
And, this would make any fan base wonder why you did nothing with your latest 11 loss season.
Speaking of the Browns, understandably, their attendance is plummeting over the past few years, as their continuous losing has mounted. And unfortunately, the Glazers and the Bucs aren’t far behind, as most games at Raymond James Stadium have had at least 10-15,000 empty seats for years.
So, yes. It’s a risk to raise the prices despite bad football.
One that can easily backfire come this spring, if droves of fans don’t renew or buy them for the first time.
And, the Bucs have no one to blame but themselves, if that happens.
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