The Buccaneers did not sell out their home opener and the game against Cam Newton and the Panthers, scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, will be blacked out on local television, the team confirmed Thursday.
Teams have until 72 hours before kickoff to sell out a game to avoid a blackout. The Bucs took advantage of the league’s new blackout rule, which means they need to sell 85 percent of non-premium seats to declare a sellout.
Last week, the team was 9,000 tickets away from selling out. The Bucs enter the 2012 season with a new head coach, Greg Schiano, and free-agent acquisitions Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright and Carl Nicks.