NFC South: ticket prices

Buccaneers drop 2011 ticket prices

January, 18, 2011
1/18/11
1:35
PM ET
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who didn’t sell out a single home game in 2010, announced they are making some significant changes to their pricing structure for 2011.

“Our organization has spent a lot of time listening to our fans at this time when our team is thriving and our economy is not," co-chairman Joel Glazer said. “As a result, we are now offering several pricing changes in response to our community’s needs.’’

The Bucs sent out a list of highlights of the changes in pricing.
  • Tens of thousands of season-ticket prices have been reduced by up to 20 percent, with adult tickets starting at $35 per game. In addition, youth tickets (16 and under) are now available for purchase in any upper level section at 50 percent off adult prices, starting as low as $17.50.
  • Select season parking has been discounted by up to 40 percent, now starting at $13.50 per game.
  • Season-pass holders will also receive 10 percent off of all stadium food, beverage and merchandise purchases.
  • The Buccaneers also have introduced a 10-month payment plan for season tickets.

Prior to this season, the Bucs had sold out every game since the opening of Raymond James Stadium in 1998. At various points in the early part of the previous decade, the team said it had an extensive waiting list for season tickets. But that waiting list disappeared, season-ticket sales dropped dramatically, and the Buccaneers had home games blacked out on local television for the first time in more than a decade. Many of the 2010 home games drew crowds of around only 40,000, even though the Bucs were one of the league’s most surprising teams. With the league’s youngest roster, they went 10-6 and narrowly missed the playoffs.

Hitting the NFC South links

January, 17, 2011
1/17/11
4:21
PM ET
On the first Monday of the offseason in the NFC South, let's take a look at some headlines from across the division.

As we wait for Carolina’s Ron Rivera to fill out his coaching staff, you can scratch off the name of one guy who might have been on the radar. That’s Mike McCoy. He’s staying in Denver as the offensive coordinator on John Fox’s new staff. There is lots of history here. McCoy was on Fox’s Carolina staff as quarterbacks coach from 2002 until he was hired as offensive coordinator in Denver in 2009. Interestingly, when Dan Henning was fired after the 2006 season, there were some people within the Panthers who though McCoy should have been elevated to offensive coordinator. Instead, Fox passed him over and went out and hired Jeff Davidson. In hindsight, making McCoy his offensive coordinator might have kept Fox in Carolina. Now, he’s got him as offensive coordinator in Denver.

Speaking of filling coaching staffs and the Panthers, they reportedly are interested in Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator. McDermott recently was fired by Philadelphia. Carolina officials, like officials from other teams, will be scouting college all-star games the next two weeks. But they'll also be doing interviews with potential Rivera assistants while they are on the road.

Atlanta receiver Roddy White apologized to fans via Twitter for the Falcons’ performance in Saturday night’s loss to Green Bay.

Speaking of apologies, Atlanta coach Mike Smith placed the blame for the loss on himself and his coaching staff. But Smith also said he has no plans to make any changes to his staff.

We’ve talked a bit in the past about how a prolonged lockout could hurt the Buccaneers and the Panthers more than the Falcons and the Saints. If a labor agreement isn’t reached by March 3, players won’t be able to work out or even watch film at the team’s facility. Tampa Bay and Carolina are extremely young and the Panthers will have a new coaching staff and new systems on offense and defense. Ira Kaufman takes a detailed look at how a lengthy lockout could hurt the Buccaneers.

The Saints reportedly will not raise ticket prices for 2011, except for 4,500 plaza-level seats that are being upgraded to premium seating as part of the continuing renovations in the Superdome.
A survey by USA Today indicates that more than half of NFL teams will raise ticket prices this year and that trend includes three of the four NFC South teams.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the exception and that’s a good move on their part. An increase in ticket prices might have alienated an already-irritated Tampa Bay fan base. The Bucs weren’t exactly jamming fans into Raymond James Stadium last year and a 3-13 season doesn’t provide the best backdrop for a price increase. From what I’ve heard, the Bucs are working hard to keep the season ticket holders they have.

One friend of mine who hasn’t renewed yet, said the Bucs call her just about every week and offer to upgrade her seats at no extra cost. I told her to hold out for a car.

The Atlanta Falcons did not increase prices across the board. The Falcons raised prices on 26,000 seats, but also dropped prices on 6,800 seats. Carolina raised prices on almost all seats in Bank of America Stadium with the increase being anywhere from $1 to $9 a game.

As the world champions, the New Orleans Saints are hot right now and they went ahead and boosted ticket prices. Most of the increases are less than $10 a ticket.
As we prepare for the Saints hosting the NFC Championship Game, there’s still a harsh reality facing the rest of the NFC South. That’s the economy, and there are a couple of reminders of that this morning.

First, the Bucs just sent out an announcement in which they say ticket prices for 2010 will remain the same as 2009. They also say that in some sections of Raymond James Stadium, prices will be reduced. The Bucs also said a $35 general-admission ticket will be introduced for next season.

“We recognize this is a challenging economy for our fans,” said Jason Layton, Senior Director of Sales and Finance. “With new lower ticket prices, there is a seating option for all of our fans to become a season-ticket holder.”

The Bucs managed to keep their streak of selling out every game in Raymond James Stadium right through the end of a dismal 2009 season. But multiple sources said that the Bucs bought a large amount of unsold tickets for several games to make sure there were no local television blackouts.

Some of Tampa Bay’s challenges can be attributed to the on-field struggles, but the economy remains a big challenge elsewhere in the NFC South.

The Charlotte Business Journal has an extensive interview with new Panthers president Danny Morrison. Even in the Carolinas, where the Panthers are easily the dominant sports entity, Morrison admits the difficult economy remains a challenge.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It's now official. Every team in the NFC South will freeze at least some of their season-ticket prices at 2008 levels for 2009.

The Carolina Panthers completed the trend, announcing they'll keep prices the same as last year. The Falcons, Saints and Bucs already have made similar moves. In each case, the teams have cited the current economy as a reason and commissioner Roger Goodell previously told all teams that increasing ticket costs might price some fans out of the market.

The Bucs, who drew criticism for raising ticket prices in 2008, previously announced there will be no increase this year.

The Falcons also announced they would freeze prices on about 43,000 seats. The team also offered a discount (up to 29 percent for season-ticket holders who renewed early) and a plan in which payments could be spread out over a monthly basis. The Falcons are the only division team that didn't freeze prices across the board. The pricing on some of their premium seats will increase.

The Saints announced back in November that they would freeze ticket prices and team owner Tom Benson also said parking prices would remain the same as 2008 levels. Benson also has asked concession stands at the Superdome to freeze their prices. The Saints also offered a new payment plan in which tickets could be paid for in three installments, instead of two, which had been the system in recent years.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Just got a very interesting press release from the Buccaneers saying they will not increase season-ticket prices for the 2009 season.

Hmmm, anybody think maybe they didn't have another choice after last season's collapse, the firing of coach Jon Gruden and the hiring of first-time coach Raheem Morris?

Living here in the Tampa Bay area, it's not hard to gauge the feeling that fans were pretty frustrated by last season's end and there was a disconnect with Gruden. The public still doesn't know much about Morris so it makes sense not to raise ticket prices because it would only make selling tickets tougher.

Ticket prices will remain in a range from $42 to $99 for general seating. Club-seat prices for season tickets also will remain the same as in 2008.

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