Photo: Mark Cook/PR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford invited the media on Thursday to tour the newly renovated Raymond James Stadium. Also in attendance were members of the Tampa Sports Authority, Manhattan Construction and Aramark, the partnering companies in the $140 million project.
The multi-stage renovation plan will be completed in two stages. The first stage, which was where the media started its tour and which will debut in the preseason home opener Friday, is highlighted by the Hall of Fame Club. As written in the press release, the HOF Club is “an all-inclusive premium seating offering that will provide the best view of the game in air-conditioned comfort.” The joint suit – 19,000 square feet combined – has 240 seats, 126 T.V. monitors and a bar. Hall of Fame Club members have access to all events at Raymond James Stadium throughout the calendar year. In the club on Thursday, the media was treated to a food tasting with all the new menu items provided by Aramark.
Stage 2 of the renovation plan includes state-of-the-art HD video boards. With each end zone board, combined with four HD tower video exhibits in each corner of the lower bowl, the display area is 28,416 feet – making the video boards the third largest in the NFL.
Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Ford explained the project and the Buccaneer organization’s goals in his brief opening remarks.
“The game day experience at Raymond James Stadium, with all these enhancements and a chance to watch that game with other Buccaneer fans, is second-to-none,” Ford said, via Buccaneers.com. “We just want people to come out and experience it.
“Raymond James Stadium is the Crown Jewel of the NFL, and these enhancements only put us higher. When the Bucs are playing, the fans are going to be able to see it and hear it and get involved. The experience on and off the field is going to be electrifying and cutting edge at Raymond James Stadium this coming season.
“We need to give our fans a reason to come out and experience it,” he continued later. “There are reasons to sit at home or go out [to a sports bar], but there’s nothing like the game day experience at Raymond James Stadium. It’s about coming out and being a part of cheering on the Buccaneers with other die-hard fans, best fans in the NFL. To be a part of that, you can’t match it and you can’t get it sitting at home.”
To demonstrate the improvements, Ford set up a grand in-stadium production that fans will get to see as early as Friday. After letting everyone get situated with their cameras and a 10-second countdown, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” Ray Jay’s classic kickoff song, blared through the high quality sound system while Bucs graphics were shown on the giant high definition video boards. It looks and sounds significantly better than the old system, to say the least.
Also included in the plan are completely renovated luxury suites, which were also part of the tour on Thursday.
Bucs fans are more excited for what the new season has in store from an on-field standpoint, but the new amenities and surrounding atmosphere at Raymond James Stadium in 2016 is a sight to see and experience in itself.
“This was a team effort and I am so excited that we’re here,” Ford concluded. “I knew we would be, I was fully confident that we would be, but it’s still exciting to see all these enhancements. It’s here, we’re at the finish line and I’m so excited about tomorrow.”
Part of this report is courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications department, and all statements from COO Brian Ford are courtesy of Buccaneers.com.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t really care. I call it basic maintenance up grading for an NFL team.
The video boards look amazing! Cant wait to check them out.
I hated the old video boards. They were just about useless.
Amazing, the rich refuse to pay taxes but are right there with their greedy hands out when it come to spending tax money to upgrade this facility that only the rich can afford to enjoy. So we spend 140 million in tax money on this shrine to the RICH and people are dying because the rich refuse to expand medicare in Florida. There are people suffering and in pain every day because they can’t get medical treatment even though they work full time. But at least the RICH got improved luxury boxes.
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