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Bucs below average in cost to their fans

The average cost for a family of four to attend a game is $296.63, up 10 percent. But that's still slightly cheaper than the NFL average.

By JEFF HARRINGTON
Published September 5, 2003

The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers increased ticket prices this season by twice the percentage of the average NFL team, but going to a Bucs game remains a relative bargain.

The average cost for a family of four to attend a Bucs game has risen nearly 10 percent this season to $296.63, according to a survey by Team Marketing Report, a Chicago publication that tracks sports business issues.

That's a shade under the average "fan cost index" for the 32 NFL teams, which rose 3.9 percent to $301.75. The index includes the average price of two adult tickets, two children's tickets, two small beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two game programs and two caps.

Coming off a championship season, the Bucs raised their average ticket price by 12.1 percent to $49.78, according to Team Marketing's analysis. But that's still below the NFL average this season of $52.95 per ticket, which is up 5.8 percent from last year.

Buccaneers spokesman Jeff Kamis said the team has tried to keep price increases in check despite being a playoff contender. In two of the last five years, there were no increases.

"We've always tried to look out for the general season-ticket holder," Kamis said.

The Team Marketing report points out that the Bucs' 12 percent jump in ticket prices is "less substantial" than of previous champions. The season after winning the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots hiked prices by 59.5 percent, the Baltimore Ravens by 17.2 percent and the St. Louis Rams by 26 percent.

Overall, the Patriots are still the most expensive in the NFL for average cost of a ticket ($75.33) and cost for a family of four to attend a game ($405.22). Washington coach Steve Spurrier and the Redskins were second-highest in the league with an average ticket price of $68.06.

The Arizona Cardinals have the cheapest average ticket at $35.99, up 6.9 percent. They also offer the cheapest outing for a family of four with a fan cost index of $229.67, up 4.2 percent.

The pricing index offers some idea of how much revenue Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer is bringing in at the stadium. The team has been known for having one of the more lucrative stadium deals in the NFL, keeping almost all the stadium's revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking.

About four years ago, Bucs ticket prices were the second-highest in the NFL. But that was after the opening of state-of-the-art Raymond James Stadium. Since then, a dozen other teams, including some with new stadiums, have leapfrogged the Bucs in the pricing game.

- Information from Times files was used in this report. Jeff Harrington can be reached at harrington@sptimes.com or 813 226-3407.

[Last modified September 5, 2003, 04:53:59]

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