"The New Sombrero"
|Address||4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway|
|Operator||Tampa Sports Authority|
|Surface||Tifway 419 Bermuda|
|Broke ground||October 15, 1996|
|Opened||September 20, 1998|
|Construction cost||US$168.5 million
($253 million in 2017 dollars)
|Architect||Wagner Murray Architects, Populous (then HOK Sport)|
|Structural engineer||Walter P. Moore, Bliss and Nyitray, Inc.|
|General contractor||Manhattan Construction, Hunt/Metric Joint Venture|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) (1998-present)
South Florida Bulls (NCAA) (1998-present)
Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) (1999-2001)
Outback Bowl (NCAA) (1999-present)
Raymond James Stadium, also known as the "Ray Jay", is a multi-purpose football stadium located in Tampa, Florida. It is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL) as well as the NCAA's South Florida Bulls football team. The stadium seats 65,890. With the addition of temporary seating, it can be expanded to 75,000 for special events.
Raymond James Stadium hosted Super Bowls XXXV and XLIII, as well as the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. It is also set to host Super Bowl LV in February 2021.
Raymond James Stadium was built to replace Tampa Stadium at the demand of the new Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer. It is located adjacent to the site of the old stadium on the former location of Al Lopez Field, a minor-league baseball stadium that had been demolished in 1989. Once completed, the final cost of the new stadium was $168.5 million, with the entire cost publicly financed.
It was known as Tampa Community Stadium during construction, but the naming rights were bought for US$32.5 million for a 13-year deal by St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial in June 1998. On April 27, 2006, an extension was signed to maintain naming rights through 2015. In May 2016 the Buccaneers announced that the naming rights were extended an additional 12 years ensuring that Raymond James Financial's name will continue to appear through 2028.
The stadium officially opened on September 21, 1998, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chicago Bears, 27-15. The stadium hosted its first soccer game on March 20, 1999, when the Tampa Bay Mutiny lost to D.C. United, 5-2.
The stadium was selected to host the ACC Championship Game in 2008 and 2009.
The stadium is home field for the University of South Florida Bulls of the American Athletic Conference. The team's record crowd at Raymond James Stadium is 69,383, on September 29, 2012, when the Bulls - during their worst season ever - played a non-conference game against the popular Florida State University Seminoles from the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time.
The largest crowd ever recorded in Raymond James Stadium came on January 9, 2017 as the stadium hosted the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. 74,512 people were in attendance.
Through to the 2009 season, every Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium sold out. In 2010, no home game achieved a ticket sell out, so none could be broadcast on local television. The streak carried over until week four of the 2011 season, when it sold enough tickets for its Monday night game with the Indianapolis Colts on October 3 to avoid a local blackout.
One of the most recognizable features of the stadium is a 103-foot (31 m), 43-ton steel-and-concrete replica pirate ship, which fires replica cannons each time the Bucs score points or enter the other team's red zone. The cannon fires once for each point scored. In addition, when the Buccaneers enter their opponent's red zone, stadium hosts hoist team flags around the perimeter of the upper deck. During various times throughout the game, the song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" is played on the stadium public address system (taken from Pirates of the Caribbean), which signals patrons on board the ship to throw beads, t-shirts, and other free prizes to the people below. The segment is also known as a "Mini Gasparilla" to most fans. An animated parrot sits on the stern of the pirate ship. Controlled by radio and remote control, the parrot picks fans out of the crowd and talks to those passing by.
During Super Bowl XXXV on CBS, the pregame, halftime, and post-game desk reporting took place from aboard the pirate ship. NBC's Super Bowl XLIII and ESPN's 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship coverage also emanated from the ship.
The two "Buc Vision" 2,200-square-foot (200 m2) Daktronics video displays were among the largest in the league when they were built. In 2016 they were replaced with 9,600-square foot, high-definition video boards in both end zones. 'Buccaneer Cove' features a weathered, two-story fishing village facade, housing stadium concessions and restrooms. All areas of the stadium are ADA compliant.
Temporary bleachers were erected in the end zones for Super Bowl XXXV, which set a then-record stadium attendance of 71,921. The stadium attendance record has since been surpassed by the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, which also made use of temporary seating.
Raymond James Stadium boasts the second-best turf in the NFL, according to a 2009 biannual players' survey.
In early 2016, the stadium was given an extensive facelift. The most notable improvement was the replacement of the 2,200-square-foot (200 m2) video displays with state of the art, high visibility 9,600-square-foot (890 m2) video displays in both the north and south end zones along with the addition of a new 2,300-square-foot (210 m2) video tower in each corner. All together, the video displays cover more than 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2), making Raymond James Stadium the third-largest video displays in the NFL. The original sound system and the stadium's luxury boxes were also upgraded. A second round of improvements are planned for after the 2016 season is complete.
The stadium is referred to as "Ray Jay" or "The New Sombrero", a spinoff from "The Big Sombrero", the nickname of Tampa Stadium. Somewhat derisively, it has been occasionally referred to as "the CITS", a name coined by long-time local sportscaster Chris Thomas which stands for "Community Investment Tax Stadium", referring to the fact that the stadium was entirely financed by local taxpayers.
|Season||Game||Date||Winning team||Score||Losing team||Score||Attendance|
|2000||Super Bowl XXXV||January 28, 2001||Baltimore Ravens||34||New York Giants||7||71,921|
|2008||Super Bowl XLIII||February 1, 2009||Pittsburgh Steelers||27||Arizona Cardinals||23||70,774|
|2020||Super Bowl LV||February 1, 2021||TBD||0||TBD||0||TBD|
|Season||Game||Date||Visiting team||Score||Home team||Score||Attendance|
|1999||NFC Divisional||January 15, 2000||Washington Redskins||13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||65,835|
|2002||NFC Divisional||January 12, 2003||San Francisco 49ers||6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||65,599|
|2005||NFC Wild Card||January 7, 2006||Washington Redskins||17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||65,514|
|2007||NFC Wild Card||January 6, 2008||New York Giants||24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||65,621|
|Season||Game||Date||Winning team||Score||Losing team||Score||Attendance|
|2016||College Football Playoff National Championship||January 9, 2017||Clemson Tigers||35||Alabama Crimson Tide||31||74,512|
The stadium was also home to the former Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer and continues to periodically host other soccer matches due to its accommodating field dimensions. For example, on June 8, 2012, it hosted the United States men's national soccer team's opening qualifying match against Antigua and Barbuda for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which the United States won 3-1.
|Date||Winning Team||Result||Losing Team||Tournament||Spectators|
|June 8, 2012||United States||3-1||Antigua and Barbuda||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification||23,971|
|Date||Artist||Opening act(s)||Tour / Concert name||Attendance||Revenue||Notes|
|July 31, 2001||NSYNC||--||PopOdyssey||--||--||Postponed from May 15. Moved from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.|
|July 1, 2006||Kenny Chesney||Dierks Bentley
Big & Rich
|The Road & The Radio Tour||45,002 / 45,002||$2,906,910|
|October 9, 2009||U2||Muse||U2 360° Tour||72,688 / 72,688||$6,399,375|
|March 19, 2011||Kenny Chesney
Zac Brown Band
|Goin' Coastal Tour||50,548 / 50,548||$4,399,810|
|June 2, 2012||Kenny Chesney
|Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
|Brothers of the Sun Tour||48,443 / 50,604||$4,320,106|
|March 16, 2013||Kenny Chesney
|Eli Young Band
|No Shoes Nation Tour||47,492 / 51,243||$4,271,090|
|October 3, 2014||One Direction||5 Seconds of Summer||Where We Are Tour||52,158 / 52,158||$4,359,855|
|October 31, 2015||Taylor Swift||Vance Joy
|The 1989 World Tour||56,987 / 56,987||$6,202,515||Alessia Cara and Idina Menzel were special guests. Swift wore an Olaf costume while Menzel wore her in-voice character Elsa, both from Frozen, in honor of Halloween.|
|April 29, 2016||Beyoncé||DJ Khaled||The Formation World Tour||40,818 / 40,818||$4,803,295||Kent Jones joined DJ Khaled during the opening act.|
|June 14, 2017||U2||OneRepublic||The Joshua Tree Tour 2017||52,958 / 52,958||$6,125,415|
|April 21, 2018||Kenny Chesney||Thomas Rhett
|Trip Around The Sun Tour||TBA||TBA|
|June 23, 2018||Luke Bryan||Sam Hunt
|What Makes You Country Tour||TBA||TBA|
|August 14, 2018||Taylor Swift||TBA||Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour||TBA||TBA|
|November 7, 2018||Ed Sheeran||TBA||÷ Tour||TBA||TBA|