Tampa Bay Buccaneers: stadium, location and who is the owner?
The “Ray Jay” in Tampa Bay will host the 55th Super Bowl on 7 February, the first time a team playing in the “Big Game” will play in their home stadium.
Raymond James Stadium, home to the Buccaneers, will host the Super Bowl for the third time since it was built in 1998. Tampa Bay, Florida has had the honor of welcoming the finale of the gridiron’s season five times with the first back in 1984 for Super Bowl XVIII. This year the Kansas City Chiefs, with QB Patrick Mahomes, will try for their second consecutive Super Bowl win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with six time champion QB Tom Brady.
Located just northwest of Tampa Bay, Florida, the stadium can accommodate over 65,000 fans. However this year due to covid-19 only a lucky 25,000 spectators will be able to attend the game in person, with 30,000 cutouts to fill the rest of the stadium. The NFL, in recognition of their service to the country over the past year, has invited 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers to attend this year’s Super Bowl on an all-expense paid trip.
"These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings."
No stranger to big games
The “Ray Jay” has been home to many big games throughout the years. This will be the stadium’s third Super Bowl having hosted XXXV and XLIII. Its has also been home to the College football championship games welcoming the Atlantic Coast Conference twice and the National Playoff in 2017. The NCAA Outback Bowl and the Gasparilla Bowl are held there annually.
The Glazer family
The stadium, built in 1998, is owned by Hillsborough County which financed its construction after the late Malcolm Glazer purchased the Bucs in 1995. With an original cost of just under $170 million, and a renovation in 2016 for $140 million, it is cheap by today’s standards but no less worthy of the Big Game. The SoFi Stadium, the $5.5 billion future home of the LA Rams, was set to host this year’s Super Bowl but due to construction delays it will host Super Bowl LVII next year.
The team is now owned by Malcolm's son Joel Glazer. He along with other members of the Glazer family oversee the day-to-day operations of the franchise. The family also owns England’s Manchester United Football Club.