The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are scheduled to open the 2011 NFL Season against the Detroit Lions in Week 1, but with a little more than a week before the game, it looks like the game will blacked out locally. In other words, the city of Tampa Bay won't be able to watch their team on TV.
According to PewterReport.com, the Bucs have only sold about 50,000 tickets to the opener, and they have less than a week before Thursday's deadline to sell 15,000 more tickets. None of the Bucs' home games have been announced as sell-outs by the team, but on the bright side, a few other opponents (Colts, Cowboys) have generated more interest than the Detroit Lions.
The Bucs have been staring at an attendance dropoff for the past few years, and in 2010, Tampa Bay was the only team in the NFL to have every game blacked out--despite posting a winning record (10-6) with one of the most surprising teams in the NFL.
Now, despite bringing back the core from last season's Cinderella story, it looks like the struggle will continue in 2011. On the bright side, this year can't possibly be bad as bad last season.
Bucs fans in the Tampa Bay area are guaranteed to see at least one home game on television this year as the team’s home encounter with the Chicago Bears was selected by the NFL to be the league’s International Series game in London. As a result, the Bucs will have just seven regular season games at Raymond James Stadium in 2011.
So hey, at least they'll definitely see that game.
Stay tuned for more.