Raymond James Stadium, also known as Ray Jay, is situated in Tampa, Florida. The stadium is home to the NFL 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 the expansion ability of about 75000 (this is only for special events), which places it at the smaller end of the spectrum in the NFL and about middle to lower end for college football.
Some popular Nicknames
The stadium is also called by the name -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 name of CITS. The name of CITS 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 financed.
Another controversial name given by radio play-by-play analysis Gene Deckerhoff is the “Jesse James Stadium”. This refers to the leverage that the owners of the Buccaneers used to get the stadium paid for completely by the public.
Hosted Events by Raymond James
Raymond James Stadium hosts the annual college football Outback Bowl. The outback bowl game is played on New Year’s Day and matches the 3rd pick from the SEC against the 3rd pick from the Big Ten in what has resulted in classic matchups.
In addition to this, Raymond James Stadium also served as a host to two Super Bowls. It hosted Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 which matched 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 Ray Jay was built?
This stadium was constructed to serve as a replacement to 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 Lopez field which was torn down in 1989.
Raymond James Stadium’s manufacturing cost amounted to $168.5 million. However, the entire cost was financed publicly. The stadium was referred to as the -Tampa Community Stadium- while still, under construction. However, Raymond James Financial based in St. Petersburg, bought the naming right of this stadium for $32.5 million in June, 1988.The company extended its naming rights in April, 2006 till 2015.
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