The bleachers behind One Buccaneer Place have gone up in a hurry. On the first two mornings of August, they're going to fill up in a hurry, too.
In fact, if you don't already have a ticket to those mornings' events – the first and third practices of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2009 training camp – then you may have to pick a different day to see your team in action.
For the first time since 2001, the Buccaneers will conduct training camp in Tampa, in front of the local fans. And for the first time since the Bucs' state-of-the-art training facility opened its doors in 2006, that camp will take place right in the team's own backyard.
As usual, every camp practice is free and open to the public. Anticipating large crowds of interested fans, the Buccaneers have spent weeks erecting a series of covered bleachers around the edges of the three practice fields behind One Buc Place, enough to seat 4,700 fans. Sure enough, Buccaneers training camp is going to be a popular location for Bay area sports fans looking for an entertaining way to spend a morning or afternoon in August.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, fans rushed to get the first available camp tickets through the new One Buc Club here on Buccaneers.com. After joining the Club (which is also free), fans were able to reserve tickets to some of the 24 practices scheduled for the three weeks of camp and will eventually have access to all of them. The hottest target: opening weekend. By early on Wednesday, the morning practices on August 1 and 2 were completely "sold out."
(Again, all practices are free. In addition, the night practice on Saturday, August 1, will be held at Raymond James Stadium and no tickets are required for admittance.)
Fans continue to use the power of the One Buc Club to line up their future visits to training camp. It is the only way to get tickets to camp practices in advance. Any remaining tickets will be distributed at the practice-field gates on the occasion of each workout, but some practices will obviously be filled before the walk-up crowd arrives, as the first day of ticket availability demonstrated this week.
So if you're hoping to reserve tickets to any of the Buccaneers' 2009 training camp practices at One Buccaneer Place, you may want to ask fast. Click here to go to the One Buc Club page and check it out; in addition to training camp tickets, you can enter yourself in the drawing for a trip for two to London to see the Buccaneers play the Patriots in October.