In an effort to minimize home blackouts this fall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take advantage of the NFL's new rule allowing clubs to declare a sellout when only 85 percent of non-premium seats are sold.
For the past 40 years, NFL policy stated any game that did not sell out completely within 72 hours of kickoff would not be televised in the home market.
The league recently eased its TV blackout restrictions, allowing local telecasts if at least 85 percent of non-premium seats are sold 72 hours prior to kickoff.
"We hope that this move, along with lower ticket prices, starting at $30 for adults and $15 for children, will lead to more televised Buccaneer home games this year,'' Bucs vice president of business administration Brian Ford said in a team release issued Friday afternoon.
Teams that choose to select the lowest benchmark allowed must give 50 percent of money generated from tickets sold above the 85 percent threshold to the NFL's visiting team pool, rather than the standard 34 percent.
Before the Bucs made their announcement, the Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts said they would not lower their sellout benchmark in 2012.
Thirteen of the 15 games the Bucs played at Raymond James Stadium in the past two seasons were blacked out in the Tampa area. If the new 85 percent policy were in effect last season, five of the seven games at Raymond James Stadium would have been televised in the home market.
The Bucs finished at 85.9 percent capacity in home attendance last season, ranking 27th out of the NFL's 32 teams.
With an average home attendance of 56,614, the Bucs finished ahead of only Cincinnati and Miami in 2011.