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Free tickets didn’t fill up Tampa Bay’s stadium

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 02: Cam Newton #1 hands the ball off to Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 02, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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The Buccaneers, desperate to fill Raymond James Stadium, offered two free tickets to every season-ticket holder for last Sunday’s game against the Panthers. It didn’t work.

As recently explained by SportsBusiness Daily, the venue remained at only 80-percent capacity for the game, with 52,568 persons at the 65,618-seat facility. Per the Charlotte Observer, the upper deck as “sparsely populated and the lower bowl wasn’t a heck of a lot better.”

The inability to fill the stadium doesn’t bode well for the current power structure in Tampa, and it won’t make it more likely that the organization will keep quarterback Jameis Winston.

The Bucs get another chance to not fill the building on Sunday, when the Saints return to town. Given that the Bucs beat their division rival in a Week One 48-40 shootout, if the locals don’t show up for this one, they never will.