Home of the University of South Florida Bulls and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium has been called the crown jewel of all NFL stadiums. After spending many years at Houlihan Stadium, the Buccaneers wanted a combination of the finest elements of modern stadium design and its own groundbreaking innovations in a stadium for them. After a referendum was passed, construction began on the Buccaneers stadium in October 1996. Constructed adjacent to Houlihan Stadium, fans could watch as the stadium was being constructed. Raymond James Financial of Tampa purchased the naming rights for 13 years, thus the stadium was named Raymond James Stadium.
Opening day at the state of the art Raymond James Stadium was on September 20, 1998. The South Florida Bulls also made the move from Houlihan Stadium to Raymond James Stadium. Two, three tier grandstands are located on both sides on the playing field, and additional seating is located past both endzones. Raymond James Stadium’s features are centered around one concept: enhancing the fan’s experience at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. The stadium includes many amenities including 12,000 club seats, 195 luxury suites, and the main feature, Buccaneer Cove. Located beyond the north endzone at Raymond James Stadium, Buccaneer Cove, is modeled after a 19th century Pirate village. Costing $3 million, Buccaneer Cove’s main attraction is a 103 foot long replica Pirate ship. The ship serves as a entertainment area for fans. Other features of the Cove include a weathered, 2-story fishing village facade from which a wide variety of stadium concessions, ranging from standard fare to more authentic Tampa items. Also located throughout the area are a variety of beach hut kiosks offering additional concessions, a 9 ft x 7 ft skull, and other game enhancements. Raymond James Stadium has been the host of the Super Bowl and is home of the Outback Bowl every year.