Members of the NFL Players Association have consistently rated Raymond James Stadium’s field as the best in the league and league insiders refer to the stadium as the “crown jewel” of the NFL. The stadium is named after Raymond James Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services firm headquartered in nearby St. Petersburg, Florida.
Our first ever regular season home game, on September 20, 1998, saw the Bucs surprise the Chicago Bears with a dramatic 27-point rally for a final score of 27-15. Later, Raymond James Stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXV on January 28, 2001, when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants 34 to 7. We later hosted Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers bested the Arizona Cardinals 27 to 24.
The excitement played out against the impressive backdrop of the then-new stadium, made all the better by the same company that produces props for Walt Disney World. They created the mighty pirate ship, permanently harbored in Buccaneer Cove. The pirate ship comes to life after the Buccaneers score a field goal or touchdown. Its loud cannons fire seven times to signal a touchdown and three to announce a field goal.
The booming cannons aren’t the only unique sounds featured throughout the stadium. In fact, an animatronic parrot perched on the stern of the pirate ship frequently talks to those passing beneath during Buccaneers games. Controlled by radio and remote, it can even pick fans out of the crowd. When the stadium is quiet, Tampa residents may hear the sound of a crow cawing through the stadium sound system to prevent pigeons from roosting in the rafters.
The visuals are impressive, as well. Operated by more than 30 technicians at Raymond James Stadium, BucVision allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to become the first professional team in any sport to show images through high-definition television (HDTV). The main attraction of BucVision is the sheer size of the two videoboards, each measuring 24 feet tall by 92 feet wide, which is significantly larger than conventional NFL scoring systems.