The culmination of three years of development and construction, $168.5 million Raymond James Stadium opened in September 1998 to rave reviews for its groundbreaking innovations to improve the fan experience.
After 22 years of watching Buccaneers football from bench seating at The Big Sombrero -- officially Tampa Stadium, which was demolished in 1999 -- fans now enjoy individual seats, measuring 19 inches to 21 inches wide and with a minimum of 32 inches from one seat back to the next.
Also featured are 12,000 club seats, 195 suites, 20 escalators and more than 550 points of sale for food, beverages and merchandise (that's a ratio of one concession for every 120 seats). The stadium was financed by a combination of a half-cent sales tax for community investment purposes, a Florida sales tax rebate, a tourist development tax and funds provided by Buccaneers owner and president Malcolm Glazer.
One of the more famous landmarks of RJ Stadium is Bucaneer Cove, which features the 103-foot long pirate ship. It has eight cannons that herald player intros, forays into the red zone and Tampa Bay touchdowns. It is manned by a 30-person crew on game days. Raymond James Stadium played host to two (XXXV and XLIII) of the four Super Bowls staged in Tampa.
-- Information from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers media guide was used in this overview
Items prohibited: umbrellas; food, drinks, cans, bottles and glass; back packs or large bags; coolers; video cameras; strollers; seat cushions; weapons and fireworks; banners or flags with sticks or poles; lasers; items that could be missiles or projectiles; cameras with lens longer than 12 inches; horns of any type; footballs; and Chucky Dolls. Items allowed: ponchos if worn or carried over the arm or in the original factory sealed package; blankets and towels, if unrolled or unfolded; small, hand-held radios or TVs with earphones; binoculars and cameras; banners or flags without sticks or poles; empty spray bottle; fanny packs; and diaper bags.
4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33607
From the north: I-75 to I-275 South to Himes Avenue North or Dale Mabry Highway North. Stadium is approximately a mile north, between Himes and Dale Mabry.
From the south (Sarasota and Bradenton): I-75 to I-4 West to I-275 South to Himes Avenue North or North Dale Mabry or I-75 North to I-275 N. to North Dale Mabry. Stadium is approximately a mile north, between Himes and Dale Mabry.
From the east (Orlando): I-4 West to I-275 South to Himes Avenue North or North Dale Mabry or I-4 West to Hillsborough Avenue West or Dr. M.L. King Jr. Boulevard West. Stadium is approximately a mile north, between Himes and Dale Mabry.
From the west: I-275 to North Dale Mabry or Highway 60 East to Spruce Street East to North Dale Mabry. Stadium is approximately a mile north, between Himes and Dale Mabry. (Directions are from the Buccaneers team website, where you can find a map to the stadium.)
Day of game parking is available in stadium lots 1 and 2. Lots in close proximity are 11, 12, 13 and 14 (formerly Tampa Bay Center Mall) and those at Hillsborough Community College at $25 per space. All parking lots will open three hours prior to each Buccaneers home game. For additional information regarding parking, click here.