The newspapers announced today that our favorite multibillionaire family, the Glazers, or the Buccaneers if one prefers, have decided that the team’s lackluster fumble-ridden 6-10 season was good enough to hike season ticket prices by 21 percent. No doubt many who read this will roll their eyes, thinking the Glazers and Bucs don’t deserve a raise. Never mind that the team hasn’t had a winning season in years and the Glazer family is worth $4.7 billion according to Forbes Magazine. The community has to remain competitive or the Buccaneers will move on to the highest municipal bidder.
Some would probably go along with stingy fan thinking and complain about the much deserved season ticket increase since the town that built the Stadium for the Glazer family in the first place just awarded another $29 million to buy the team a new scoreboard and conduct few renovations. And it’s probably fair to say the Glazers aren’t exactly paying their fair share considering all the cash and glory fans have bestowed on the family and its team over the years. However, chintzy fans must realize that the only thing that’s important is that they stay competitive. Yes. Even if the team is lousy and the Glazers already have more money in the bank than the city and county combined. You see, it’s only the fans who must stay competitive, not the team, not local government and certainly not the Glazers.
All one must do is hark back to the ever popular original stadium tax that feathered the Glazer’s humble west Tampa nest with a $168 million stadium. The thinking was that the now deceased Malcolm Glazer would take his team and go to another city if local politicians didn’t sell a trusting public the original stadium tax referendum. You might also recall those same politicians promised Malcolm Glazer’s fledgling Bucs would bring jobs, opportunities and prosperity to the region. Unfortunately the unemployment rate is higher now than it was then and the state of Florida has spent the past eight years attempting to dig itself out of a deep recession. But then, who’s counting when it’s your money? We must stay competitive.
What’s another 21 percent tacked onto Joe Sixpack’s season ticket price? Really, he or she can charge it, just like local politicians took out loans on the original stadium tax until all of the equity disappeared. Surely it didn’t hurt all those single moms to pay more for every happy meal they bought the kids and merchants were happy to figure out how much extra tax dollars to charge for just about everything purchased in Hillsborough County over the years.
You see, the thing that sports fans must remember is that the city, Bucs and the Glazer’s don’t need to be competitive. It’s the people who live in the community and the fans who attend the games that must remain perpetually competitive. Complainers need to conform and understand their community priorities and the needs of the Glazers, or the Buccaneers if you prefer. Take one for the team, that’s the spirit!
Tampa doesn’t even have money to fix their storm drains before the next three or four rainy seasons; we can hardly expect them to help. Hillsborough County barely got folks to buy into the original Stadium tax and their credit card is maxed out too. The more than 40 members of the team are on the team payroll and some of them making less than $3 million per year. Besides, they’re football players, football is their life, if it wasn’t for football … but we digress, suffice to say it’s not their job to help cash-strapped fans afford tickets to see them play. Besides, the Bucs can’t win enough games to stay competitive, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to fall to the fans to remain competitive unless pigs fly in formation over the stadium dropping backpacks filled with enough cash to keep the Glazers from bailing on us.