Raymond James Stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USF Bulls, is getting a much needed face lift. So far, everything is going as planned.
Raymond James Stadium went from one of the nicest stadiums in the NFL to outdated in what appeared to be the blink of an eye. Now, after years of debating and disputing where the upgrade money would come from, Raymond James is getting some incredible upgrades and appear to be right on schedule.
Even the Madden franchise – an NFL video game monopoly – gave a quick sneak preview of the video boards on twitter;
The Bucs – and Bulls – will finally have high definition video boards to proudly display when competing at Raymond James. As the NFL and its teams try to improve the in-stadium experience, it seems many fans still prefer to watch at home.
No, there is nothing like being part of the experience. Tailgating with your buddies, surrounding yourself with fans as hardcore as you, screaming your head off when your defense is on the field trying to get a third down stop in the fourth quarter. Going to an NFL game is an outstanding experience.
Until it’s not.
Paying $30 for parking? $10 for a hot dog? $12 for a beer or $9 for a soda? Not to mention the $100 you spent on a ticket when the view in your living room on a 55-inch HD television is far better. Oh yeah, your house also has Wi-Fi to check your fantasy teams, a fridge full of reasonably priced food, soda, and beer that you bought at the store, and the ability to check in on other games or the ever popular Red Zone Channel during commercials and halftime. No lines for the bathroom, no searching for a parking space, no waiting for traffic to get home. It’s perfect.
That’s the battle NFL owners face when building or renovating stadiums. They have to offer things you can’t experience at home. Raymond James is home of the 2017 BCS College Playoff National Championship and has missed out on countless Super Bowl bids since hosting Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009. Now, Raymond James will feature all new video boards – both in each end zone as well as “tower style” boards in each corner of the stadium. The end zone boards measure in at 9,600 square feet and the towers are 2,304 square feet each.
Also part of this year’s renovations is an upgraded sound system, a concessions revamp, and a new concourse. By the start of the 2017 season, there will be a remodel for the club level, expanded concourses, and an official team store.
All of this is not only trying to compete with other venues for Super Bowls, but to compete with the experience you have in your own home. Buccaneers fans have been screaming for updates for years. Now the two year upgrade plan is coming along perfectly and on time for kickoff 2016.
The only question is, will you forego your house to experience the new and improved Raymond James Stadium?