Raymond James Stadium is a multi-purpose facility located in Tampa, Florida. The stadium is primarily used for football games, as it is currently the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls football programs. The stadium has a seating capacity of 65,857, and can be expanded to accommodate 75,000 for special events.
Raymond James Stadium was built to replace the aging Houlihan's Stadium, which was located adjacent to the property. The stadium now stands where Al Lopez Field used to stand, and was opened on September 20, 1998. The stadium cost a total of $168.5 million, and was publicly financed. During construction, the stadium was known as Tampa Community Stadium, but since has changed its name to Raymond James Stadium as a result of a $32.5 million contract with Raymond James Financial in June 1998. In 2006, an extension was signed to maintain naming rights until 2015.
The stadium hosts the Outback Bowl, an annual college bowl game, as well as the ACC Championship Game (for 2008 and 2009). One of the most notable features of the stadium is the 103 ft., 43 ton steel and concrete pirate ship replica. The pirate ship fires soft-rubber footballs and confetti each time that the Buccaneers score a point. It fires six times for a touchdown, once for an extra point, twice for a safety and two-point conversion, and three times for a field goal. During Super Bowl XXXV, the pirate ship was used as the desk for pre, post and half-time game reporting.
The stadium is often called by its unofficial nicknames: "Ray Jay", or "The New Sombrero." The stadium's surface is natural grass, using Tifway 419 Hybrid Bermuda.
Parking passes for the Outback Bowl are available at TicketCity. If you do not have a parking pass on the day of the game, parking will be $15 per car or motorcycle. Any parking inquiries you have can be answered if you call Tampa Sports Authority at (813) 350-6500. Tampa Sports Authority recommends that all attendees arrive at least one hour prior to the event in order to avoid heavy traffic delays.
Items prohibited inside Raymond James Stadium:
- Backpacks or large bags
- Food, drinks, cans, bottles, glass
- Seat cushions
- Banners or flags with sticks or poles
- Umbrellas or any view-obstructing items
- Horns and noisemakers of any type
- Weapons, fireworks
- Items that could be used as missiles or projectiles
- Cameras with lenses longer than 12"
- Chucky dolls
- Pets (except special needs animals)
- Skates, skateboards, skate-shoes, all cycles and segways
Items allowed inside Raymond James Stadium:
- Hand-held banners (must be in good taste)
Outback Bowl Beach Day:
Come join the Outback Bowl teams, marching bands and cheerleaders at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort. There will be fun in the sun and sand in sunny Florida in December, so make sure to attend this exciting event featuring live music, skydivers, tug-of-war and other contests. The event will be sponsored by The Hilton, Visit St. Petersburg, 95.7 The Beat and 93.3 FLZ Radio. The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
New Year's Eve Parade and Band Blast:
Come join the fun in eclectic Ybor City for the New Year's Eve parade and pep rally. There will be plenty of floats and marching bands along the way. This exciting event is sponsored by Budweiser, The Tampa Tribune, 93.3 FLZ Radio and the City of Tampa. Come early – the parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs along 7th Ave. Please, do not bring coolers, glass containers or open alcohol on the streets.
3246 W Columbus Dr
Tampa, FL 33607
Looking for some hearty and cheap Cuban food? Even if you're not, you need to try this lunch counter specialty. Located in a Spanish neighborhood, this restaurant serves up traditional Spanish and Cuban cuisine at the counter almost as fast as McDonald's, and there's a sit-down dining room for those who are looking to dine in leisure. Portions are huge, and the Cuban bread is out of this world. Finish it off with a cup of Cuban coffee and you'll be rubbing your stomach all day. Like a good friend of mine would say: "It's finger-licking good!"
4200 Jim Walter Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
This restaurant, located in The Renaissance Tampa International Plaza, is dazzling. The décor, the staff and the clientele offer an eclectic atmosphere to the 152-seat restaurant. The open-air courtyard and luxurious demonstration kitchen add to the experience. Chef Fabrizio Schenardi's gourmet Italian cuisine delivers the finest dining experience on this side of Raymond James Stadium. Dishes like lemon soufflé pancackes, crunchy fried olives stuffed with three meats, and the cinnamon and juniper berry marinated quail are just some examples of the rave that is Pelagia Trattoria.
719 N Franklin St
Tampa, FL 33602-4411
This watering hole is heralded as a trashy dive bar with a fabulous feel. Boasting some of the stiffest drinks in town, The Hub attracts everyone from politicians to the hip blue-collar types at night. The jukebox is full of CD's you thought you would never listen to – but just one night at The Hub and you will be singing along to all those taboo faves. Come stop out for a nightcap at the most awesome hole-in-the-wall in town.
208 S Howard Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
This is the perfect place for singles to get their prowl on, or for lovebirds to grab a fantastic date night. This South Tampa spot is extremely hip, and serves some of the freshest and tastiest seafood in town. Dinner is served late and the bar is open until 3 a.m., making this the perfect spot to grab an after-hours drink or late night cuisine. The cocktails are fantastic, especially their martinis. If you are planning to dine, make sure to get a reservation. If you are just want a stiff one and are looking for some companionship, come on out, grab a drink and chat it up with some local singles.