Buccaneers will be blacked out in Week 1

If you live in the Tampa area and you’re not at the game on Sunday, you’re not going to see the beginning of the Greg Schiano era.

Despite aggressive measures to boost tickets sales this season – and a move to take advantage of the NFL’s new 85 percent policy for blackouts – the Buccaneers have fallen short of selling enough seats in Raymond James Stadium. Sunday’s season opener against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will not be aired within a 75-mile radius of the stadium.

The club announced the news today, according to the Tampa Tribune. The Bucs did more than just fire coach Raheem Morris following a 4-12 season. They reduced prices on 80 percent of season tickets, introduced half-season ticket plans and offered different payment options.

"We're leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to maximize home-field advantage,'' Bucs vice president of business administration Brian Ford said of the club's efforts to sell tickets.

It could be the public is going to wait for the Bucs to start winning in order to plunk down cold cash for tickets. Thirteen of the team’s last 15 regular-season games at the pirate ship have been blacked out locally.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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