Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Name of Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
Game Attended: versus Eagles in October 2013 with Chris
Worked a game at this stadium? No.
We arrived in Tampa pretty close to kickoff so it was very helpful that we already had a parking pass. Traffic wasn't too terrible on our way into the stadium either. We parking literally across the street from the stadium.
Since August I had been reading articles about how awful and intrusive the new security measures were upon entering stadiums this year...especially for women. However, I didn't seem to notice anything different at all. I've always taken a small purse that meets the clutch size standards so maybe that is why I didn't have any issues. They just checked inside my bag briefly before wanding me and I was set to enter. Same as always.
Our seats were in the upper deck so we immediately headed up the escalators. There was a bit of a jam there because several "staff" members with Buccaneer flags had not yet made their way up to the top of the stadium. That seemed a little strange since the game had already started at that point, but we found out later that the flags are only raised when the Bucs score. They also set off a cannon when the home team scores. A tad alarming particularly when you aren't expecting it after a converted field goal, but definitely goes with the pirate theme. The most unique feature of the stadium is the pirate ship and buccaneer cove on the north end of the stadium. We were seated in the other endzone so we didn't have a chance to check out that area.
Overall, the stadium was nice. I liked the openings on both endzones. The pirate ship really adds to the character of the stadium. However, the atmosphere was different than I have experienced in some time. There were a number of visiting team fans. So many visiting team fans that chants could be heard going up the escalators, in the concourse, and throughout the stadium. When the Eagles scored, the fans were able to sing through the entire fight song as if they were at a home game. I mean it's not like we were expecting the Bucs fans to be overjoyed given the way their season has started, but I would have thought they would have a little more presence and authority for a home game. Additionally, perhaps it was just the section we were in, but we had multiple people around us that had NO clue what was going on in regard to the game. I mean, NO clue. Like asking "Which way is our team going?" and "Are we on offense or defense right now?" - it was BAD! It was almost as if going to the game was a social event or done just because there was nothing else to do rather than attended out of genuine interest. Well, unless you were an Eagles fan of course. Totally bizarre. And finally, Chris and I decided that games are much less fun to attend when you really don't care about the two teams playing the game...and your team(s) are playing in close match-ups at the same time...and the blazing hot sun is scorching you to the point of misery. But at least I was able to mark another stadium off the bucket list! Sometimes it's a pleasure and sometimes it's painful!
Check out former Sunday Stadium Reviews here. I only have 10 more stadiums to go!