Barely any fans showed up for rescheduled Bucs-Redskins game (pics)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Washington Redskins preseason match-up, originally scheduled for Thursday, was bumped up to Wednesday due to anticipated severe weather from Tropical Depression Nine. And the sudden rescheduling announced on Monday, along with some nasty inclement weather — not to mention it was the fourth and final preseason game — had quite the impact on attendance.
Actually, that’s underselling it, as photos from Raymond James Stadium illustrate that the game was sparsely attended. In fact, a photograph from just before kickoff shows that practically no fans were in the stands.
Crowd right now "@DemocraticNole @JennaLaineESPN What does attendance look like tonight? Did anyone show up?" pic.twitter.com/hupbDVrMRn
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 1, 2016
Additional photographs posted to Instagram effectively showcase how the combination of a rescheduled game, miserable weather and the always-unattractive prospects of a preseason game — much less the final one when starters rarely play — made for a powerfully toxic deterrent for fans.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Greg Auman provided the woeful details concerning attendance — or lack thereof — via Twitter.
With bad weather and date change, Bucs-Redskins preseason finale had an actual attendance of 9,457 fans. Announced as 42,996 (distributed).
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 1, 2016
As noted, a confluence of unique and unfortunate factors came into play on Wednesday night in Tampa. But if there has ever been a more damning — and illustrative — indictment of the unappealing nature of NFL preseason football, well, it’s difficult to come up with it.
Oh, for the record, the Redskins came out on top, edging the hometown Bucs by a score of 20-13. Not that it matters much.