By Alex Butler
Fans were in a virtual pileup for football tickets in the hours after reports surfaced that Tom Brady was joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady announced he was ending his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots at 8:45 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Between 6 and 7 p.m., there were multiple reports confirming that Brady had agreed to join the Buccaneers.
There were fewer than 1,000 people in line to buy Buccaneers tickets at 7 p.m. on TicketMaster’s website, according to screenshots on social media. More than 1,350 people were in line at 7:15 p.m. That number increased by 500 in 10 minutes before jumping to a total of 4,000 by 7:55 p.m. By 9 p.m. there were nearly 7,000 people in line to buy season tickets.
Sources told NFL Network Wednesday that Brady and the Buccaneers finalized a contract that pays the future Hall of Fame quarterback up to $30 million annually.
The Buccaneers had the worst home attendance in the NFC in 2019, averaging 51,898 fans per game, according to ESPN. Only the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers averaged fewer fans at their home stadiums. Tampa Bay has ranked in the bottom five for home attendance for four consecutive seasons.
The Buccaneers’ regular season home schedule for 2020 includes games against the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Los Angles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams.
Moments from Tom Brady’s career
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sets himself up to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 27, 2002, in Pittsburgh.The Patriots defeated the Steelers 27-17. Photo by Stephen Gross/UPI | License Photo