Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay Buccaneers events hotels parking seating food

Raymond James Stadium

Our guide to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa includes information on events, tickets, parking, public transportation, nearby hotels and restaurants, seating and more. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your gameday experience.

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The Tampa Bay area has built itself into quite the sports hub over the years, boasting three major pro sports teams and becoming a destination for big-time events in both the pro and college game.

In that time, the region’s residents have grown into big-time hockey and baseball fans with the success of the Lightning and Rays, respectively, but talk to a few of them and you’ll quickly see that they mostly reserve their true sports love for the Buccaneers — as one visit to Raymond James Stadium will reveal.

Indeed, the Bucs were Tampa Bay’s original pro franchise, debuting in 1976 with their notorious bright orange uniforms. Despite being an NFL doormat for many years — they famously lost the first 26 games they ever played — they were still a popular draw at the old Tampa Stadium, nicknamed the “Big Sombrero.”

Then came a color change from orange to pewter (and red), a period of success that culminated in a Super Bowl championship in 2003, and a new venue in Raymond James Stadium, which continues to serve the Bucs and Tampa Bay well.

Today Raymond James Stadium hosts not only the Buccaneers but South Florida football and the Outback Bowl, and other large-scale events such as international soccer matches and concerts. It also has a college football national championship game under its belt and two Super Bowls in its history, with a third coming in 2021.

Though the stadium has been around for nearly 20 years, it has held up well and continues to be one of the prime venues in the NFL worth checking out.

For more on visiting Tampa, check out our Tampa/St. Petersburg sports travel guide.


Getting to Raymond James Stadium

Though it isn’t downtown, Raymond James Stadium occupies a fairly prominent spot in Tampa — not far from Tampa International Airport (it’s practically underneath the approach path of one of the runways), along the very busy Dale Mabry Highway and just a couple miles from Interstate 275 as it runs west toward Old Tampa Bay.

The area has added sports significance in that Steinbrenner Field, the spring training home stadium of the Yankees, is directly across Dale Mabry. The old Tampa Stadium stood just to the north of where Raymond James Stadium is now, and the site is now a grassy parking lot.

The Tampa Bay region has few public transportation options — the city of Tampa has a bus system but no special-event service for Buccaneers games — so you’ll likely need a car to get there.

Parking at Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium has plenty of parking surrounding it, mostly on the east side of Dale Mabry between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Columbus Drive. Many of the lots are permit-only but others are cash lots starting at $15; just follow the traffic signs to get to the lot of your choice. You can view a detailed parking map here.

As you can imagine, traffic surrounding the venue can get gnarly as kickoff approaches, particularly on Dale Mabry heading north from I-275 and on Columbus Drive as cars try to turn onto Dale Mabry.

If you don’t mind walking, there is a way to get around it: Find parking at one of the many bars and restaurants along Dale Mabry or Boy Scout Boulevard, spend a little bit of time eating or drinking there (more on that below), then walk about a mile and a half to Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa hotels near Raymond James Stadium

Out-of-towners visiting Tampa to see an event at Raymond James Stadium will find the hotels around the nearby International Plaza mall and the Tampa airport to be most convenient. Most of these hotels are a mile or more away from Raymond James Stadium, though, so you’ll still need to have a car or to arrange a ride. 

Econo Lodge at Raymond James Stadium – 0.6 miles away
AC Hotel by Marriott Tampa Airport – 0.9 miles away
Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel – 1.2 miles away
Search for more Tampa hotels on Booking.com.

Map of Raymond James Stadium area

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Things to do around Raymond James Stadium

There isn’t much in the way of restaurants and bars in the area immediately surrounding the stadium, but if you’re willing to go a little bit out of your way, there are options.

Along Boy Scout Boulevard, which turns into Columbus Boulevard as it heads east, before reaching Dale Mabry, you’ll find a number of upscale restaurants, some of which offer game parking (though it’s a long walk, many fans are perfectly OK with it and there’ll be plenty of foot traffic). The sizable Miller’s Ale House is one such option. Even farther is the International Plaza shopping mall and even more eating/drinking choices.

Press Pass Collectibles

In fact, if you’re visiting from out of town and would rather not drive to the game, it’s a reasonable option to stay at one of the airport hotels that line Boy Scout Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway and walk from there.

Don’t want to deal with that walk? The Buccaneers hold a pregame tailgate party in the parking area just south of the stadium (across Tampa Bay Boulevard, which closes to traffic before games). You’ll also find the liveliest tailgate scenes in these lots.

Tampa restaurants near Raymond James Stadium

Miller’s Ale House – Tampa Airport – pub, 0.8 miles away
La Teresita Restaurant – Caribbean, 0.8 miles away
Happy Fish – Latin, 1.0 miles away
Search for more Tampa restaurants on Tripadvisor.

Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay Buccaneers events hotels parking seating food

Watching a game at Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium is your prototypical football venue, designed symmetrically and to maximize the number of seats along the sidelines. Behind each end zone is one level of seats and then a large plaza behind it where fans can gather and where many of the food and beer stands can be found.

For Buccaneers games, you’ll want to head straight for the plaza behind the north end zone seating area, where you can find the one feature that sets Raymond James Stadium apart from its brethren: The big Buccaneer ship, from which cannons fire whenever the home team does something positive and where actors in pirate costumes hang out, posing for pictures, brandishing toy swords and throwing beads out to the crowd.

If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere from which to watch the game, this is truly it — think of it as watching the game from a beach cabana, only there’s an actual live game in front of you. (In case you were wondering, fans aren’t allowed on the ship itself during games.)

If you’d rather sit in your seating area for your event, no problem — sight lines are terrific from just about every angle at Raymond James Stadium. A series of ramps and escalators are positioned at all four corners of the stadium for those who need to head to the upper levels.

A word of warning, though: You’ll need to take note of which side your section is on, east or west, because if you head up the wrong side and realize it afterward, you have no choice but to go back down and walk around.

New HD videoboards were installed behind each end zone several years back, as well as a set of vertical infoboards on which things like out-of-town scores are displayed.

Food and drink at Raymond James Stadium

There’s plenty of space on the concourses so that you can walk around and survey your eating and drinking options. In the north end zone plaza, there are food stands stacked up next to each other with pirate-themed facing, which might make you feel a little like you’re in line for Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland — in fact, during our visit we actually heard the pirate actors singing the “Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me” song that’s associated with the ride.

Around the rest of Raymond James Stadium, regardless of seating level, the food stands are a little more standard, as is most of the fare sold there.

One item you’ll see a lot of is the Cuban sandwich, which Tampa claims as its own — if you’ve never had it, it’s a pressed ham, pork and cheese sandwich worth trying at least once, and the stadium version isn’t bad. You can also seek out the “Taste of Tampa” stands for more unique fare, such as yucca fries.

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    The Particulars

    Home Teams
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    USF Bulls

    Address
    4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
    Tampa, FL 33607

    Year Opened
    1998

    Capacity
    65,890

    Upcoming Events
    All times local
    East Carolina Pirates at South Florida Bulls Football
    Saturday, October 10, 2020
    3:30 am
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Tulsa Golden Hurricane at South Florida Bulls Football
    Friday, October 23, 2020
    7:30 pm
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Navy Midshipmen at South Florida Bulls Football
    Saturday, November 21, 2020
    3:30 am
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    UCF Knights at South Florida Bulls Football
    Friday, November 27, 2020
    3:30 am
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »

    Outback Bowl
    Friday, January 1, 2021
    3:30 am
    Get tickets at SeatGeek »


    View Seating Chart »