Raymond James Stadium, also known as Ray Jay, is located in Tampa, Florida. The stadium is home to the NFL’s professional football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the NCAA’s University of South Florida Bulls. The stadium has a capacity of 65,857 seats and has an expansion capacity of about 75,000 (this is for special events only), which puts it at the smaller end of the spectrum in the NFL and the middle and lower end. for college football.
Some popular nicknames
The stadium is also called “The New Sombrero”, which comes from the nickname of the old Tampa stadium “The Big Sombrero”. In the past, Raymond James Stadium has also been called by the CITS name. The CITS name has been suggested by Chris Thomas, a local sportscaster. CITS stands for “Community Investment Tax Stadium”, referring to the community tax that was passed to allow the stadium to be 100% publicly funded.
Another controversial name given by play-by-play radio analyst Gene Deckerhoff is “Jesse James Stadium”. This refers to the leverage the Buccaneers owners used to get the public to fully pay for the stadium.
Events organized by Raymond James
Raymond James Stadium hosts the annual Outback Bowl for college football. The indoor bowling game is played on New Year’s Day and pits the SEC’s third pick against the Big Ten’s third pick in what has resulted in classic matchups.
In addition to this, Raymond James Stadium also served as the venue for two Super Bowls. It hosted Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, which pitted the New York Giants against the Baltimore Ravens. It also hosted Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, which was a classic matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Why was Ray Jay built?
This stadium was built to replace Tampa Stadium, which was demolished in 1999, and is situated almost adjacent to the site of the old Tampa Stadium. It is built on the location of the old Al López field that was demolished in 1989.
The manufacturing cost of the Raymond James Stadium amounted to $168.5 million. However, the entire cost was publicly financed. The stadium was called “Tampa Community Stadium” when it was still under construction. However, Saint Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial purchased the naming right for this stadium for $32.5 million in June 1988. The company extended its naming rights in April 2006 through 2015.