Whether it’s on the natural grass field that is envied by every NFL player outside of Tampa Bay, in the plush fan seating areas, or the spacious club facilities and comfortable press box, the impression of Raymond James Stadium - Home of the USF Bulls - is impressive and immediate. The entire facility takes state-of-the-art up a notch.
Raymond James Stadium - also home to the 2002 Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the annual Outback Bowl - is a $168.5 million facility which opened September 20, 1998 with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Chicago Bears. Two weeks later, the Bulls debuted in their new home with a 45-6 win over Citadel, in front of 32,598 fans.
Tampa Bay hosted its third Super Bowl, and it’s first in Raymond James Stadium, in 2001 and then its fourth Super Bowl in 2009. The stadium also serves as an outstanding venue for outdoor concert acts.
The facility also continues a proud tradition as the finest natural grass surface in the country. The bermuda-sodded field in the former Tampa Stadium - home to Super Bowls XVIII and XXV - earned annual recognition from the NFL Players Association as the league’s finest field, and the recognition has continued at Raymond James Stadium, which has affectionately become known as “The Ray Jay.”
The comfort extends into the fan areas with arm-chair theatre seats with cup holders in all sections. Additionally, the seats range from 19 to 21 inches wide. The stadium seats more than 65,000 for games, with the capability to increase to 75,000 on a temporary basis. Raymond James also features not one - but two - giant Daktronics video boards that can be broken down into several different images, and show several games from around the country at one time.
Additional fan-friendly luxuries include 1,243 televisions throughout the stadium.
The stadium has 195 club suites on two floors at mid-level along both sidelines. Each suite has retractable glass windows, a private refreshment bar and restroom, and five televisions. The Club Seating also allows access opportunities into two 65,000 square foot air conditioned lounges with amenities including sports bars, specialty restaurants and large video walls.
The stadium’s media facilities are also first class, including 225 seats on the west side suite level with booths for television, radio and team coaches. It also offers a dining area featuring an impressive video wall. There is also a media room at ground level, just inside Gate D.
Paid for through a combination of a Community Investment Tax, a State of Florida sales tax rebate and a portion of the tourist development tax, the stadium is named for the Raymond James investment firm, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla.