Fans in Tampa will be unable to watch their team take on the Browns Sunday afternoon. The Buccaneers announced on Thursday that the season opener has been blacked out on local TV within a 75-mile radius of Raymond James Stadium.
According to NFL rules, a team has to sell out every seat 72 hours before kickoff. PewterReport.com reports that the team has 40,000 season-ticket holders but did not sell all of the remaining 25,000 seats in the stadium. The team is optimistic that future home games will not be blacked out in 2010.
Twenty-two games leaguewide were blacked out in 2009, compared to only nine in '08. A spokesman from the NFL said that the Browns-Bucs game, a matchup of two teams that won a combined eight games last year, was the only Week One matchup that wasn't sold out.
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