Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preseason 2011: Thursday Night's Game Is Blacked out

Basil SpyridakosContributor IIIAugust 16, 2011

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 05:  Fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just before the start of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Ticketmaster is an incredible tool when assessing the cost to attend a sporting event.

The site easily allows the user to choose certain options and criteria when contemplating a ticket purchase.

Navigation is a breeze too. So, when I saw a television commercial advertising Buccaneer preseason tickets starting at just $35, I was floored. $35 isn't bad, right? Seems quite feasible and inexpensive.

But what exactly does $35 entail? That's where my good buddy Ticketmaster comes into play.

For $35 – before taxes and services fees – you can sit in sections 330, 331 and 341, which are on the upper corners on the Northeast and Southeast sides of the stadium.

For $35 per person – before taxes, service fees and cost of parking – you can sit in the worst section of Raymond James Stadium.

If that's your cup of tea, and you're there to enjoy a nice night of football with the family and/or friends, then I'm not one to judge. I think if you can afford to go and are willing to make the trip, then you're certainly a bigger person than me.

Think about it though: for $35 per person – before taxes, service fees, cost of parking and concessions – you can view an exhilarating contest between backups and third-stringers.

Please explain to me why I must purchase a regular season ticket price to watch preseason football?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason game against the New England Patriots has been blacked out in the Tampa Bay area, and, according to Buccaneers' co-chairman Malcolm Glazer, Bucs' fans ought to brace themselves for more blackouts throughout the season. 

Bucs' fans are irate and for good reason. The economy in Tampa has taken a massive hit, and there's no sign of improvement, yet the Buccaneers' organization doesn't want to cut the fans any slack by lowering preseason ticket prices.

So we're left with a blacked out game this Thursday because fans refuse to pay absurd prices to watch glorified scrimmages, and for good reason.

What we're left with is a lose-lose situation: no one attending the game at Ray Jay means no one's allowed to view the game at home either.

Until the economy turns around in Tampa, I'll save my $35 for the regular season when games count.