Arrgghh, avast me hearties, the Buccaneers are once again robbing, plundering and pillaging Tampa Bay and many of the area’s citizens continue aiding them in their wanton greed for the prized booty taken in tax dollars. As a long time resident of the Tampa Bay area I was a long time supporter of the team and held season tickets for many years when the team was more commonly referred to as the “Yuccaneers” where if you left two tickets under your car’s windshield wipers, you were more than likely to find six or more when you came back after the game. But no more, as I will not give into this form of corporate piracy through the buying of tickets, merchandise or support for the team in anyway because the Buccaneers and their greedy owners, by continuing the home game blackouts, are much like a petulant child taking their ball home with them so no one else can play.
According to an on-line article written by Scott Meyers on sportsfans.org, “In 1995 when the Glazer family purchased the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for $192 million ($298 million in 2012 dollars), their family net worth was about $300 million ($465 million in 2012 dollars). In October, 2012, with the Bucs now valued at slightly over $1 billion, the Glazer family net worth is about $3.6 billion, as reported by Forbes recently. It is clear that the Glazer family is thriving financially, and in no small part because of the Bucs’ financial success.
In 1995 the median household income in Hillsborough County was $32,650 ($50,607 in 2012 dollars). In October 2012, the median household income is now $45,560 (see here – this figure was computed using 2011 number multiplied by 1.021 – inflation rate for year-to-date in 2012). Note that real median household income has dropped about 10% from 1995 to 2012. It is clear that the Tampa Bay area is not faring well with the weak economy, particularly since 2008.
The Hillsborough County citizens have paid for the full care and feeding of Raymond James Stadium – initial cost of $168 million ($240 million in 2012 dollars) – from its inception in 1998 and will continue to do so until 2026. This translates to about $15 million per year in direct subsidies to the Glazer family.
Also, consider that the Glazer family receives $2.3 million per year from Raymond James for stadium naming rights, and last fiscal year received $2.85 million for non-Bucs events held at Raymond James Stadium. This means that after paying their annual $3.5 million rent to Tampa Sports Authority, they are left with an additional positive cash flow of $1.65 million.”
Given that 14 of the last 16 games have been blacked out and over 4000 fans have contacted the FCC to complain about this unethical practice, one would think the Glazers and the other greedy NFL owners would see the error in their ways? As comedian John Belushi used to say though, “But noooooo!” because their actions (blackouts) certainly show that they don’t care about the fans that pay the taxes that subsidize them and make them even wealthier. As fans then, perhaps we should all be asking ourselves, why we should care about the Buccaneers and the greedy owners at the helm of their ship of --- making us all look like fools?