Bucs fans pack home opener - FOX 13 News

Bucs fans pack home opener

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    Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give the New Orleans Saints a weather-delayed 16-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
    Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give the New Orleans Saints a weather-delayed 16-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans arrived outside Raymond James Stadium early Sunday as the excitement built before kickoff of the team's home-opening game against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the threat of the rain and lightning that delayed the game more than an hour, fans did not stay home.

"I'm ready for a good season. We're going to tear it up. You got to have faith," said Joel Deckinga, a Bucs fan from the Bradenton area.

"This is the first [home] game of the season. There's a lot of excitement, so I just think they're going to do well," said Bucs fan Paul Ammerman.

The Bucs announced late last week they'd sold at least 85 percent of game's tickets, avoiding a local television blackout; prior to Sunday's game 19 of the team's last 23 games were not televised in the Bay Area.

"I think it brings a lot of business to the city when the team is doing well," said Nicole Hutchins, a Bucs fan who was tailgating with several friends. "I know that personally I work in the bar industry and when the team is doing well we have more people come out. They spend money, they get out there, they have a good time."

Owners of nearby bars and restaurants couldn't agree more.

"That's unbelievable," said Walter Hill, who owns the Press Box. "Today has been fantastic. We got a whole bunch of Saints fans that came in here to eat before they went to the game."

Several fans, however, wondered whether this kind of excitement will continue for the entire season.

"As long as we win and keep winning, the fans will come out and support their team," said Paul Ammerman, a Bucs fan from Bartow.

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