Bucs preseason game: New bags, same blackouts - FOX 13 News

Bucs preseason game: New bags, same blackouts

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Bucs fans going to the Thursday night preseason game at Raymond James Stadium will be experiencing something new - and it doesn't have to do with the team or the game.

The game, against defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, is the Bucs' first of the preseason schedule, and new NFL rules will keep fans from bringing in many kinds of bags.

Items not allowed into NFL stadiums include backpacks, cinch bags, purses larger than a clutch purse, seat cushions, coolers, fanny packs and cases for cameras or binoculars.

Fans can bring in see-through tote bags that are 12 x 6 x 12-inches, or one-gallon freezer bags.

Raymond James officials said staff will be outside the stadium leading up to kickoff handing out bags that fit the NFL's criteria.

Fans hoping to watch the game at home won't have any luck; it's blacked out on TV because the team didn't sell 85 percent of its tickets, as required by the league for the game to be aired in the home team's market.

Nineteen of the Bucs' last 23 home games have been blacked out, including six last season, which was the most in the NFL.

The last six preseason games also haven't made it onto TV locally.

"I hope that it won't be as many as it was last year," said Scot Middleton, a longtime Bucs fan. "But I think that you're probably going to see about 50 percent of them blacked out again."

Team executives have said recently they're hoping to have fewer blackouts in 2013 and believe a high rate of season ticket renewals are signs that might happen.

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