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Buccaneers offering free tickets to season ticket holders after worst attended game in eight years

ACC Football Championship - Boston College Eagles v Virginia Tech Hokies

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 6: A small crowd watches as the Boston College Eagles battle the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 ACC Football Championship game at Raymond James Stadium on December 6, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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Last Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium apparently didn’t whet the appetite of football fans in the Tampa area.

The game was the lowest attended game in eight years, drawing just 40,682 fans in actual attendance to the stadium that can hold 65,618 regularly and be expanded up to 75,000 for large events.

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers have responded by offering a limited number of free tickets to season pass holders for this Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. The team sent emails to ticket holders on Wednesday announcing the ticket availability on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Arrive early to get the party started and let’s make sure the Panthers know this is OUR house,” the email read., per Stroud.

The Buccaneers have the third-lowest average attendance in the NFL this season behind only the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers, who play at the smallest stadium in the league as a temporary home. The game against the 49ers was the lowest attended home game since only 39,781 fans attended a game against the Panthers in 2010. The Panthers would finish the season 2-14 with the Buccaneers going 10-6 but missing the playoffs.

“We have always looked for ways to add to the fan experience, and this offer is just another example of our desire to bring added value to our season pass members,” said Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford.

“We have made similar offers over the years and the holiday seemed like a great opportunity to thank our loyal season pass members with a special opportunity like this.”