On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced that their Week Seven game against the Saints would be televised locally on WTVT FOX 13. A potential local blackout had been avoided because the team had sold more than 85% of the general admission seats for the game, and because earlier in the summer it had chosen to take advantage of that new NFL option to reduce blackouts.
Since the threshold to avoid a blackout was 85%, and not a full sellout, that means that tickets remain available for Sunday’s contest, which is not only an important division contest against a high-powered Saints team but also the very popular Throwback Game. One way or another, Raymond James Stadium is going to be close to capacity on Sunday, and that’s good news for the Buccaneers.
Whatever the final attendance figure is, the important number is 12. As in, the 12th Man. Upon hearing that they will be playing in front of their biggest home crowd of the season so far, the Bucs reacted with excitement and appreciation. The team knows that a loud crowd can affect the action on the field, and obviously in favor of the home squad.
I think it’s very important especially if you start out and you play well and make some plays on defense,” said Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan. “I think the crowd can really get into it and can become contagious that way and that will definitely be an advantage for us. It will help us.”
Players on the Bucs’ offense are looking forward to having the advantage of a better working environment than Drew Brees and company will be subjected to.
“That’s good,” said wide receiver Mike Williams upon hearing the news. ” You notice a difference. You start seeing offsides, people making mistakes on the other team. You notice a difference right away. When they fill those stands up, we see it all the time. We’ve got to keep winning so we can pack the stadium. We’re basically trying to go out and do our job. We know if we get wins it will fill out the stadium.”
The Bucs managed to generate a good amount of noise from a crowd of 45,000 last Sunday with their 38-10 thrashing of the Chiefs, and a season-opening win over division-rival Carolina produced a fairly raucous environment as well. The team knows it is working towards establishing a consistent week-to-week home field advantage at Raymond James Stadium.
“I talked when we first got here about how we have to get it back to that home field advantage where it’s just deafening when you walk in there and the heat is beating down on you and the fans are beating down on you,” said Head Coach Greg Schiano. “So we are working on that. Obviously we have to do our part, we have to win and I understand all the factors that go into it. It’s going to be on TV, which means we are going to have a good crowd and we’re excited about playing on Sunday.”