For Bucs fans, the ship has veered massively off course, with a promising start fading into a crisis at quarterback and the team in jeopardy of not making the playoffs. Deciding to go to a Bucs game can result in watching a surprising turn around or the inevitable sinking of the Tampa Bay Titanic. Either way, choosing to invest some money will likely be a part of history, either good or bad.
Ticket prices are unsettlingly steep
Stop in on the team’s website and you will find two categories of tickets – the standard version and those grouped as “Verified Resale.” The general price for two single game tickets is $120 on the Verified Resale end, while the standard ticket price is listed at between $750 and $1000 for Sections 208 – 213 where there are available seats. For $60 you get the nosebleed sections, which is pretty much face value. The pricey seats are upper midfield seats, a tier above the playing field, and there are an unusual number of these seats still available.
The team’s schedule is likely to affect both price and availability of both groups of seats. After a meeting with the Washington Redskins, the Bucs will face an interesting 49ers team, followed by back to back divisional games against the Panthers and Saints. The results of these latter two contests will determine future ticket prices, win or lose.
Concession prices are higher than the majority of NFL teams.
Overall, Raymond James Stadium ranks seventh in average concession prices around the league based on a couple of beers and a couple of hot dogs. At $10 a beer and $6 per hot dog, the cost for two people is a shivering $32. In some ways, a $10 beer is understandable since after all, the team is located in Florida. The Panthers might sell more hot chocolate on their colder winter days. But the stadium is designed to provide fans with an array of foods that will have one selection making everyone happy.
But the concession view is not all bad. The stadium has huge Instant Replay screens above both end zones, so you can watch the game while you sit down and eat instead of toting it to your seat. According to the Bucs website, food and drink are both prohibited items but online sources say you can bring the standard 12 x 6 x 12 clear plastic bag and a few small items filled with food. You’ll probably want to ask when you go to buy your tickets.
Parking prices are reasonable due to the stadium’s location.
You can pay between $16 and $25 for a car parking space within shouting distance of the stadium. The closest spaces are already taken for season ticket holders and the like, so expect somewhere between a 5 and 10 minute walk after you find a spot. There are worse things than walking in Florida sunshine. Most of the best spaces only cost $20. In fact, the team’s website lists a single car stadium parking space at $25, so parking away from the stadium can actually save you $5.
Unlike many NFL stadium neighborhoods that require a half a tank of gas and 30 minutes of patience after the game to exit, Raymond James Stadium is relatively easy to exit from – again, due to its location. This is another reason the parking prices are very consistent, because there is no bad place to park your car if traffic is a major consideration. Webb Avenue and Tampa Bay Boulevard are two main streets that have multiple parking options.
Totaling up the cost to attend a single Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, there is between $120 and $750 for two tickets, a minimum of $32 for a couple of beers and dogs, and $20 for a quality parking spot – $172 to $802. If you’re spending $750 for the tickets the chances are you will be eating more than just a couple of hot dogs, so you might find yourself approaching the $900 mark for a single game.
The ultimate question is whether the cost is worth the experience. Until the team’s destiny is to rise above their issues and make the playoffs or to be swallowed up by their mediocrity, a ticket to a game can be a ticket to football history. The season is half over, so just who will be walking the plank, if anyone, is still a major question for the next few games.