Bucs barely get 30,000 to show up for preseason home opener

Posted by Mike Florio on August 22, 2010 12:52 PM ET

While perusing the efforts of Rosenthal, who cobbled together the one-liners from the Chiefs-Buccaneers game, we noticed a note that the game played in Tampa had an announced attendance of 41,386 -- but an actual turnstile count of 30,413.


We understand that economic challenges are influencing the situation, and it doesn't help that the team isn't nearly as good as it was just a couple of years ago. But when barely 30,000 people show up for an NFL preseason game played in the U.S., that's a major, major problem.

Other factors could include the improvement of the in-home viewing experience and the league's ongoing campaign to shrink the preseason and "enhance" the regular season, which could be prompting some fans to decide to shrink their preseason attention and spending budget down to zero.

The shots of Raymond James Stadium seen via NFL.com's Preseason Live application confirmed that the game was played before plenty of empty red seats. And while this very well may be a temporary problem in Tampa, the NFL and the NFLPA need to keep these realities in mind before they reach an impasse in their negotiations (assuming an impasse hasn't already been reached) and stage a work stoppage (regardless of whether it's initiated by the league or the union).