Glazers feel your pain

Published: March 31st, 2008
By Bucs Beat | - St. Petersburg Times and tbt*

   The Bucs raised ticket prices for the sixth straight season and implemented a more than 30 percent increase -- the highest since the Glazer family purchased the team.

   But hey, it's the cost of doing business.

   Team vice president Joel Glazer said his family is sensitive to people struggling to make ends meet in today's economy. But he said the increase was justified to remain competitive on the field.

   ""The first thing I would say is that we're extremely sensitive to it,'' Glazer said. ""Unfortunately, across all sports,ticket prices seem to be going up and up and up. And it's one part of being part of the National Football League that I don't like. I don't like every year having to make that decision what prices are going to be, especially this year. This year was tough.

   ""But what we found after surveying around the National Football League, even after our prices this year, there's still 15 teams with a higher general seat price than our top seats. So we're sitting right there in the middle even after an increase. But nobody likes it because they're our loyal fans, your core supporters, people that are there week in and week out with the team. But we've got to stay competitive and unfortunately it's become part of sports.''

   Taking a break at the NFL owner's meeting in Palm Beach, Glazer said season ticket renewals are going well and there will be no local television blackouts as rumored. He expects all games to be sold out.

   ""Because our price increases the previous years were not equal to a lot of other teams, we fell way behind. We're almost paying that price today because we kept it lower over the last 10 years.''

   For a complete Q&A with Glazer, read the Times Tuesday.