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Tampa ranked among the worst NFL Cities

By Reese Williams

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have remained one of the worst teams in the NFL over the past few years, and it shows. In a recent Fox Sports ranking, Tampa was listed as the fifth worst for NFL fans.

Ahead of them in the rankings from fourth to first are Cleveland, Nashville, Jacksonville and Houston. This has deterred fans away from the team.

It’s been a decade since we have seen good football from the Bucs. With no true Quarterback, an underperforming offensive line and a defense that ranks among the weakest  in the league—I would hate to be a fan of the Bucs right now too.

“It’s an amazing city [Tampa] so I don’t see why it’s ranked the fifth worst city for NFL fans,” said Michael Pascento, a freshman Sports Management major. “Also the stadium is beautiful and I get that the team isn’t doing too hot right now but that doesn’t mean that it should be ranked so low.”

Raymond James Stadium isn’t the nicest stadium in the world but it definitely is improving. The stadium has undergone $160-million in renovations over the past four years, according to an article in The Tampa Bay Times..

Stadiums mean everything when it comes to a fan base. The better a stadium accommodates its fans, the more people want to go there.

“The Bucs routinely rank No. 1 in the NFL in customer service. When the team was winning, there was a 100,000 waiting list,” said Stroud.

The only way the Bucs are going to turn this thing around is to start showing success. They are heading in the right direction though by hiring an experienced NFL head coach in Bruce Arians. If anyone can get this team turned in the right direction, it’s him. The interesting thing awaiting the Bucs will be the NFL draft in April where they need to hit big with their draft picks to improve on their 5-11 record from last year.

“Tampa isn’t a very big market and it’s not a place free agents find attractive,” Ethan Roblee, a freshman sports management major said. “I think the ranking is fair though—but I hope that they do everything possible to move down that list.”

This is a very true statement. Tampa hasn’t landed a star free agent in years. The last major draftthey made was acquiring Jason Pierre-Paul from the Giants. Yes, he helped, but he wasn’t a game changer like he used to be.

For Tampa being listed as the fifth worst city for NFL fans, it truly isn’t that bad. At least they aren’t number one. Tampa can only get better from here, and eventually they will get back to the top of the NFL like they were in the early 2000’s. To get back to the top they have to hit with their draft picks and they have to find a way to bring in big free agents. If that doesn’t happen they will continue to be one of the laughing stocks of the league.

Reese Williams can be reached at reese.williams@spartans.ut.edu

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