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August 15, 2018

Game Day Fun: A Day at Raymond James with the Bucs

By Joan O'Neil

A Day at Raymond James with the Bucs: What you need to know before you go!

With Buccaneer season right around the corner, it’s time to brush up the game plan for a day at the stadium. 

Whether you’re an NFL newbie or a seasoned veteran, Raymond James Stadium is constantly evolving thanks to the Glazer family’s innovative dedication to fan experience. This year, the stadium has received a few major upgrades that in addition to the NFL’s changing park policies, can be hard to keep up with. Here’s a guide to help you and your family prepare for your special day at Raymond James.  

Pack Your Bags 

 …Or don’t. The NFL actually discourages the use of personal bags in all of its stadiums in order to expedite the entry process and provide the best security possible to keep your family safe. That being said, sometimes pockets just don’t hold everything.  

The NFL currently allows one 12x6x12 clear sized bag or a one-gallon Ziploc bag per person, but no camera bags, backpacks, coolers or fanny packs are allowed onto the premise. A hand-sized clutch is okay in addition to the clear bag, but otherwise purses are a no-go. In emergencies, lockers are available onsite near gate C for a small fee if your bag doesn’t pass the security check. 

Exceptions to the bag rule can be made for medical equipment, but speed the process up by calling ahead. On game day, not all gates will be equipped to make accommodations so find out what point of entrance will be as it may influence your drop off or parking decisions.  

The Deal with Parking 

The closest lots to the stadium are located on North Dale Mabry and Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard. These areas offer a variety of lot options, with Stadium Club Members nearest to Raymond James, then season pass and cash lots next. These cash lots cost $25 per space and open about 3.5 hours before kickoff. Tailgating is permitted but is limited to the purchased parking space. 

Taking a ride sharing option like Uber or Lyft may be a good alternative to driving to the stadium. It can be less stressful, safer when consuming alcohol, and drop-off are across the road outside Steinbrenner Field. 

Heading to the Box Office 

Online ticket prices through Raymond James vary depending on the game and opposing team. Typically the starting price runs about $50 per person for seating in the third tier but teams like the Philadelphia Eagles may be much more expensive. Resale sites like Stub Hub or Ticket Master may be notable options for lower pricing; however, Raymond James is not responsible for issues with resold tickets. For the old school sports fans, the onsite box office opens three hours before the game begins. 

Game Time Dining     

Fans are not permitted to bring outside food or drink into Raymond James, although exceptions can be made for infants and toddlers. Fortunately the stadium offers an abundance of dining choices, 47 concessions to be exact. Gluten allergy? No problem! There’s a deli on each level full of gluten-free alternatives to sporting event favorites like hotdogs and nachos. They even feature a gluten-free picnic box.  

Bar 76 and East Stadium Club 

This fall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are storming into the new season with major stadium upgrades, including the game-changing luxury sports bar, Bar 76. A shout out to the NFL team’s 1976 inaugural year, Bar 76 is positioned to become the new fan favorite portion of the East Stadium Club expansion and redesign. 

Bucs

The 10,000-square-foot bar will feature more than 60 HDTV screens and two massive video boards for ultimate game time access, pre/post game programming, and various other NFL games around the country. The space can be described as contemporary industrial meets Buccaneer archives with 32 NFL helmets as the decorative focal point. 

Bucs

The big draw at Bar 76 will be their selection of 76 beers, an unprecedented menu when compared to other local venues. The diverse offerings will include beers from team partners MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, but will also incorporate assortments from smaller Florida breweries. Additionally, Bar 76 will offer unannounced location signature food items and build-it-yourself styled meal stations for more than 200 patrons at a time. 

While Bar 76 will be located at the atrium, the East Stadium Club expansion will also provide guests with two bars in addition to Bar 76, and a selection of boutique concessions. The renovations to this space will also include newly padded seats for the game and more than 160 HDTVs for viewing in the lounge areas.  

This article originially appeared in the August issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.