Who's going to Tampa?

Discussion in 'Members Zone' started by yrades, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. yrades

    yrades Member

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    I'm driving over from West Palm Beach for my annual Dallas Game.
    I've been to Tampa quite a few times, but never for a football game.
    Anyone on this board have any observations or tips about Raymond James Stadium. I'm particularly interested in the Parking situation and Tailgating.
  2. mmohican29

    mmohican29 Well-Known Member

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    I'm going... I don't know what tailgaiting I will be doing cuz I'm going with my Dad... but I do know we intend to be at the Cowboys Radio Road Show. Does anyone know where it will be yet?
  3. yrades

    yrades Member

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    Here's a decent review of the stadium fwiw.

    bucsfan76's Full Review: Raymond James Stadium

    If you ever saw the Bucs play at old Tampa Stadium (The Big Sombrero as Chris Berman called it), the difference between it and Raymond James Stadium is like night and day. No more hot metal benches, inadequate restrooms and concession stands and having to hike to the upper reaches of the stadium. No, RayJay has all the bells and whistles expected of a modern venue--club seats, skyboxes and the like. It follows the basic footprint of all the other newer NFL stadiums such as in Cincinnati, Nashville, Philly and Pittsburgh with the majority of the seats on the sidelines and relatively few in the endzones, but thankfully no two look exactly alike. Anyway here are my opinions:

    Parking--There's a lot of it in the stadium lots, at Hillsborough Community College across the street and at Al Lopez Park just north of the stadium. Granted, alot of the parking is a pretty good hike to the stadium. Lots open 4 hours before gametime and EVERYONE tailgates. So have plenty of beer, hot dogs, burgers, brats, etc., etc.
    By the way because of the walk and because of increased security entering the stadium since 9/11 you'll want to break down your tailgate party about an hour before kickoff. Lines entering the stadium tend to be long but staff/security keeps them moving.

    To get to your seat, you'll take the ramps/escalators located at each corner of the stadium. Since you enter at ground level, you even need to go up the ramp/escalator to get to the 100 level since you enter from the top. As for the concourses, even the upper concourse is plenty wide, and even with 65,000 people in the stadium, it doesn't get too congested. Restrooms are also more than adequate. Even if the line is backed up to the door, there are enough facilities to keep the lines moving, unlike at the old stadium.

    As for the concessions, it seems like there's a wide selection--everything from hot dogs, brats, burgers, pizza, chicken wings, etc. However I've always been stuffed from tailgating before the game so I really don't have an opinion on the stadium food. As for liquid refreshments......this is where they get you by the huevos. Keep in mind that most fans have been drinking beer all morning while tailgating in the parking lot. It's Florida so it's hot until December. Unfortunately I couldn't find any water fountains in the stadium and they charge $3 for a small bottle of Dasani water. Are you kidding me? And it gets better: $8 for a beer? Come on! So my advice obviously is drink up before the game.

    The seating---not a bad seat in the house. Almost all the seats are on the sidelines, with maybe 30 rows in the endzones. Upper deck is pretty high up though because of all the club seats and skyboxes. I recommend sitting on the west (shady) side of the stadium if you can because it gets brutally hot in the sun. Also bring some good sunscreen (at least SPF 30) because you'll need it. Also a word of caution if you're a fan of the visiting team: prepare for plenty of verbal abuse. Bucs fans are very passionate about their team and that combined with alcohol, well, you get the idea.

    Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention the one thing that sets Raymond James apart from all the other NFL stadiums...Buccaneer Cove and the pirate ship. There are concession stands and picnic areas located above the stands in each end zone which have an unobstructed view of the field. The north end zone concessions have been dressed up to resemble a Caribbean village and in the northeast corner is a real live pirate ship. One of the sails on the pirate ship is the Bucs' Superbowl 37 championship banner. So if you're meeting someone at the game, tell them "Meet me at the pirate ship." Unfortunately though it seems like 20,000 other people have the same idea.

    Post-game, you can exit the stadium via the ramps or exit stairs. The stairs are quicker than the ramps but they're more of a workout. Traffic backs up something awful so plan on doing some post-game tailgating while waiting for the parking lots to clear out.
  4. maxsports

    maxsports Member

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  5. miamicowboy21

    miamicowboy21 Active Member

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    I'll be there. I called the bucs ticket office and they said the parking lots open at 10am. Stadium gates open 1.5 hrs before kickoff.

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