There was a feeling it would happen. Now we are starting to see it happen.
COVID has ruined sports, the economy, families. There is nothing good that has come from this pandemic.
Yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens sent a letter to season ticket holders informing them that they no longer had their seats for the 2020 season.
The Ravens will be selling tickets on a game by game by basis with season ticket holders getting the first crack at purchasing tickets.
The season ticket holders were given two options. They could request a refund and have their seats guaranteed for next season. Option two would be to apply their season ticket funds already paid, to next year’s season ticket.
M@T Bank stadium in Baltimore has a capacity of 68,000. The Ravens said they would be limiting capacity to 14,000 this season.
That is a decrease of 54,000 or a 79 percent decrease in attendance.
This is a copy cat league. We live in a copy cat society. There is a lack of real leadership. One follows in line right after the other.
All NFL teams will fall in line and be using this model as a guide to limit seating at NFL games this fall.
Raymond James Stadium has a capacity of 65,000. If the Bucs were to follow the Ravens model and reduce capacity by nearly 80 percent, you would have a maximum of 13,650 attending Bucs games this fall.
We knew something was going to happen with the attendance when the NFL announced that the first eight rows in the stadium would be covered with a tarp and have advertising on them from team sponsors.
The Bucs ticket office was closed all of last week for the Fourth of July holiday.
Bucs Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford sent a letter to all season ticket holders two weeks ago letting them know that they were still working out seating arrangements for the 2020 season.
Here is the text of his email.
“Thank you for your incredible support of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Over the last 24 hours, there have been many reports regarding stadium capacities at NFL venues for the 2020 season.
The Buccaneers will continue to work with the NFL, Florida Governor’s Office, City of Tampa Mayor’s Office, Tampa Sports Authority and Hillsborough County officials to ensure we have policies and procedures in place that are appropriate for our community. It is our top priority to create and maintain the safest possible environment for our fans at Raymond James Stadium.
As we approach kickoff of the 2020 season, we will remain in constant contact with you, providing all of the latest updates as soon as we have them.
Have a great Fourth of July holiday and most of all, stay safe!”
It is not looking like there will be fans in the stands in Tampa, let alone a limited amount.
COVID cases are on the rise in Florida approaching 10,000 new cases every day if you are to believe the numbers. It seems unlikely that fans will be in attendance at Raymond James this fall.
Nothing has been announced. This is just an opinion based on what I see transpiring around the league.
The Bucs will wait until the last second to announce anything as drastic as this.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith estimates that a season without fans in the stands would cost the league more than $3 billion.
The new CBA divides up 48% of all league revenue to players. This pandemic could slash the 2021 salary cap by more than $50 million per team.
The Bucs have been at the bottom of the league in attendance the last few seasons as the play on the field has been less than stellar.
With the signing of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the off-season, the Bucs were primed to break out nationally and finally have a full stadium full of fans wearing Buccaneer jerseys, not the opposing team jerseys.
Now the Bucs have to deal with the pandemic. You couldn’t make this up if you tried.
This could only happen in Tampa. The Buccaneer curse continues.