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Raymond James Stadium, also known as "The Ray Jay", is a multi-purpose football stadium located in Tampa, Floridamarker. It is home to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as the NCAA's South Florida Bulls football team. The stadium seats 65,857[73443], and it is expandable to 75,000 for special events. The stadium also hosts the annual Outback Bowl on New Year's Day; the annual pinnacle of USA equestrian showjumping, the AGA/Budweiser American Invitational; and the Monster Jam monster truck event after the end of football season in January or February.

Raymond James Stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXV on January 28, 2001 between the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants and Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.


Raymond James Stadium was built primarily to replace the aging Houlihan's Stadiummarker, formerly located adjacent to the property. It is located on the former site of the now–demolished Al Lopez Field. Once completed, the final cost of the stadium was $168.5 million, publicly financed. It was known as Tampa Community Stadium during construction, but the naming rights were bought for $32.5 million for a thirteen–year deal by St. Petersburgmarker-based Raymond James Financial in June 1998. On April 27, 2006 an extension was signed to maintain naming rights through 2015.

The stadium officially opened on September 20, 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 largest crowd ever recorded in Raymond James Stadium came on October 9, 2009, with U2’s 360º Tour. More than 72,000 people were in attendance.


One of the most recognizable features of the stadium is a , 43–ton steel-and-concrete replica pirate ship, which fires soft-rubber footballs and confetti each time that the Bucs score points or enter the other team's red zone. The cannon fire six times for a touchdown, once for an extra point, twice for a safety or two point conversion, and three times for a field goal. 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 " is played on the stadium public address system (taken from Pirates of the Caribbean), which signals patrons onboard the ship to throw beads, t–shirts, and other free prizes to the people below. There’s an animated parrot who 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 pre–game, halftime, and post–game desk reporting took place from aboard the pirate ship. NBC's Super Bowl XLIII coverage also emanated from the ship.

The two Buc Vision wide video screens are among the largest in the league. 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 endzones for Super Bowl XXXV, and the attendance was a then-stadium record 71,921.

In 2003, the corner billboards in the stadium were replaced with rotating trilon billboards.

Raymond James Stadium boasts the best turf in the NFL, according to a 2004 biannual players' survey.


The stadium is referred to as "Ray Jay" or "The New Sombrero", a spinoff from "The Big Sombrero", the nickname of old Tampa Stadiummarker. Somewhat derisively, it is also sometimes referred to as "the CITS", a name coined by long-time local sportscaster Chris Thomas which stands for "Community Investment Tax Stadium". On occasion during radio broadcasts of games, Buccaneers' radio play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff refers to the stadium as "Jesse James Stadium".


  • Immediately upon purchasing the Bucs in 1995, new owner Malcolm Glazer declared Tampa Stadiummarker inadequate and began lobbying local government for a replacement. After discovering that the Glazers were exploring moving the team to another location, the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County came up with a plan to fund a new stadium as part of a "Community Investment Tax", which was put up for a referendum.
  • As part of the campaign to pass the referendum, Glazer promised to pay half the cost of the new stadium if fans put down 50,000 deposits on 10–year season ticket commitments. The drive fell 17,000 deposits short, the offer was withdrawn, and the Bucs did not pay any of the stadium's construction cost.
  • On September 3, 1996, the voters of Hillsborough County, Floridamarker approved, by 53% to 47% margin, a thirty–year, half–cent sales tax to build new schools, improve public safety and infrastructure, and provide the Buccaneers with a new stadium. Voting precincts reported record turnout. The team signed a stadium lease in which the local government must pay for almost all of the stadium expenses while the franchise keeps almost all of the proceeds.
  • On October 31, 1996, the NFL owners met in New Orleansmarker to select the host site for Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl XXXIV. Pro Player Stadiummarker in the Miamimarker area was selected to host Super Bowl XXXIII. Atlantamarker, Tempemarker and Tampa were candidates for Super Bowl XXXIV, with Tampa the favorite, following the successful tax referendum. The Georgia Domemarker in Atlanta, however, was awarded the game. As a compromise, Tampa was awarded Super Bowl XXXV, which the NFL had not originally planned to select that day.
  • The last Major League Soccer game played at Raymond James Stadium was on 2001-09-09 when the Mutiny lost to the Columbus Crew, 2–1, in front of 9,932 people. Although the September 11 attacks resulted in the cancellation of the remainder of the 2001 MLS regular season, the Mutiny did not have any more home games scheduled anyway. The Mutiny were subsequently disbanded by the league. National-level soccer matches are still occasionally played at Raymond James, as its wide field makes it ideal for hosting soccer.
  • In April 2003, the Tampa Sports Authority proposed passing ownership of the stadium to Hillsborough County to avoid having to pay millions of dollars in property taxes (The Bucs' lease agreement dictated that they not have to pay property taxes). However, Bucs had a right of refusal and refused to sign off on the plan unless the local government paid more of the cost for game–day security and increased the amount of (county-purchased) insurance coverage for the stadium. The dispute continued for months until December 2003, when the county legally declared the stadium a condominium and took ownership. As part of the change, the Bucs were given ownership of portions of the structure. To win the Bucs' approval, the county agreed to refund the team's resultant property tax payments annually.
  • On May 25, 2005, NFL owners met in Washington, D.C.marker to select the host site for Super Bowl XLIII. During the balloting, Raymond James Stadium defeated the Georgia Domemarker (Atlantamarker), Reliant Stadiummarker (Houstonmarker), and LandShark Stadiummarker (Miami Gardensmarker).
  • After a nearly two–-year legal battle, the Tampa Sports Authority came to a settlement with popular sports-seating and telescopic platform/bleacher company Hussey Seating of North Berwick, Mainemarker. Following the stadium’s opening in 1998, roughly 50,000 Hussey-manufactured seats at Raymond James Stadium began to fade from their original color – a bright, vibrant shade of red – to a shade of washed-out pink. Spotting this obvious defect, the Buccaneers organization pleaded to the TSA to sue the seating manufacturing company for the cost to replace the affected chairs in 2003. Initially, in May 2004, after testing samples of the seats, Hussey Seating did not find any cause for the fading, and thus, found no reason to replace the seats at the company’s cost under the current 10–year warranty. After the TSA cited a portion of the warranty which did, in fact, state that Hussey would replace seats if any fading were to occur, Hussey president Tim Hussey admitted an error in the research and eventually would come to a $1.5–million agreement with the TSA to replace the problem seats. Reportedly, the seat-fading occurred due to a manufacturing error by Hussey, as a UV inhibitor – a sunscreen-like component for the plastic – was forgotten in the mixture used to create the seats. All of the problem seats were replaced by new, non–pink seats in the spring of 2006.

Panoramic View From The Pirate Ship During The 2009 Off-season


  1. U2 delivers a transcendent performance in Tampa
  2. - Chris Thomas touched us all
  3. Harry, Chris. "Fantastic Voyage for Bucs". Orlando Sentinel. July 24, 2005


Image:Raymond James Stadium01.jpg|EntranceImage:Raymond James Stadium02.JPG|The fieldImage:Raymond James Stadium03.jpg|The pirate shipImage:Ray_Jay1.JPG|Main Entrance with Super Bowl XLIII bannerImage:Ray_Jay2.JPG|Stadium with Super Bowl XLIII Decorations

Notable football games

Super Bowls

NFL Playoff Games

College Football Games

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