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Bucs drop ticket prices

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As more and more teams struggle with the inability to sell all non-premium tickets in order to allow the home games to be televised in the local market, some are applying the time-honored pricing principles of supply and demand.

The Buccaneers, with an entire home slate of blackouts in 2010 and multiple games that were sold out in 2009 only after the Bucs paid 34 cents on the dollar for leftover tickets, have dropped their prices for 2011.

“In response to fan feedback and the Tampa Bay region’s ongoing economic challenges, the Buccaneers are unveiling several new family-friendly features aimed at maximizing the Bucs’ home field advantage for the 2011 season and beyond,” team co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement released by the franchise. The Bucs say that “tens of thousand” of season tickets have been reduced in price by up to 20 percent.

Adult tickets start at $35 per game. Youth tickets are available for as little as $17.50.

It’s a smart move, and more teams will have to consider doing the same thing as more and more fans choose to stay home and watch games on high-end HD and 3D televisions. Though the NFL wants to improve the in-stadium experience, at some point the league will have to realize that part of what makes the NFL “the ultimate reality show” is the presence of a full stadium of fans, and that any and all measures must be employed to ensure that the stadiums will remain full.

With the league making more and more money from TV (ESPN reportedly will soon pay nearly $2 billion per year for Monday Night Football), the teams need to realize that folks are changing the way in which they consume football. If the league doesn’t adjust, the folks who consume it by watching it on television eventually will conclude based on the half-full stadium that the game isn’t as big of a deal as they thought it was.