With promises of a fresh start, a new head coach, millions spent in free agency, half price concessions, free parking, and a celebration of team legend Ronde Barber's 200th consecutive NFL start, one would think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have no problem selling out their season opener at Raymond James Stadium against the division rival Carolina Panthers.
According to Buccaneers director of communications Jonathan Grella, the Bucs aren't even close to selling out the contest against the Panthers, which means the game will likely be blacked out.
How bad is it?
The Bucs are about 9,000 seats away from reaching the new 85 percent blackout exemption rule. That means there are still about 19,000 seats for the game still available as of right now.
Unless the Bucs sell those remaining 9,000 tickets before the 4:25 PM deadline on Thursday, this game – like nearly every home regular season game the last two years – will be blacked to local fans within...