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Blackouts Are A Thing of the Past

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Photo by Andy Lyons (Getty Images)

Photo by Andy Lyons (Getty Images)

Jim1 Jim Lighthall
Jim Lighthall is a co-host on 98.7 The Fan's Fan Interference ...
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You’re starting to buy in Bucs fans. Literally.

With Monday’s news that all of the Buccaneers home games will be broadcast locally, it shows that, for the first time in years, the community believes this team is worth spending their hard-earned money on again. Let’s face it, the last four years have been a roller coaster ride for this franchise. After Raheem Morris’ first season (10-6), Tampa Bay has not only struggled to win, but struggled to put butts in the seats at Raymond James Stadium.

The addition of new head coach Lovie Smith, a slew of fresh free agents and additional faces via the draft have proved enough to put the Bucs over the 85% threshold established by the NFL that mandates a home sellout. The always challenging NFC South as well playoff teams like the Packers, Bengals and Ravens will roll into RJS this season to give the fans their money’s worth.

The days of Dale Mabry billboards proclaiming a lengthy season ticket waiting list are long gone, but it is nice that the added enthusiasm for the 2014 season translates into home games returning to local television. In addition to new personnel, the Glazers have done their part in keeping the games affordable too. The Bucs have consistently remained in the bottom third of the league for the most expensive average ticket price.

The Bucs two preseason home games – against the Dolphins and the Redskins – will also be televised live.

It’s a welcomed change. And hopefully we don’t have to use the term “blackout” again for a long time.

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