Stadium History

Stadium History

January 16, 1995: Malcolm Glazer, a Palm Beach investor, buys the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for $192 million, pending NFL approval. A new stadium proposal is issued by the Bucs and local government leaders in order to keep the franchise in Tampa.

March 13, 1995: NFL owners unanimously approve the sale of the Bucs to Glazer at the spring owners meeting in Phoenix.

September 1995: The bidding process of a new stadium is opened by the Tampa Sports Authority.

October 17, 1995: The Charter Seat Deposit Program kicks off with a 30-minute televised special “Homefield Advantage” and full-page newspaper advertisements and radio spots. Charter seats go on sale the next day.

October 26,1995: To beat the “first priority” deadline, fans drop off their charter seat deposits at a makeshift Tampa Stadium drive-thru.

December 13, 1995: Countering that it would cost too much, the Bucs reject local officials’ plans to pay for a new stadium through land sales and user fees.

March 1996: Negotiations held in private at the NFL owners meetings produce a tentative lease agreement for the new stadium.

April 1996: The TSA and the Tampa City Council approve a lease with the Bucs. Joe Chillura, Hillsborough County Commissioner, proposes a half-cent increase in the county sales tax that would be used to help fund a new stadium as well as various community projects, including new schools, public safety and infrastructure. The tax would come to be known as the Community Investment Tax.

August 19, 1996: Former Tampa Mayor Bill Poe files a suit to stop the Community Investment Tax referendum from appearing on the September ballot.

August 27, 1996: Hillsborough Circuit Judge James Whittemore throws out Poe’s suit seeking to block the Community Investment Tax from being placed on the ballot.

September 3, 1996: Community Investment Tax passes by a 53-47 percent margin.

September 1996: Poe files another suit seeking to block the Community Investment Tax from funding the new stadium, arguing against a clause in the TSA’s lease with the Bucs that gives the Glazers the first $2 million in parking and concession profits from non-Bucs events at the new stadium.

October 15, 1996: Bucs and government officials break ground for the new stadium and construction begins.

March 1997: Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Sam Pendino agrees with Poe and rules that the clause in the TSA-Bucs lease is illegal.

May 22, 1997: The Florida State Supreme Court, in a 7-0 decision, rules all aspects of the Community Investment Tax are constitutional, defeating Poe’s final court challenge to the stadium.

June 26, 1998: Raymond James Financial, Inc., of St. Petersburg, pays approximately $35 million over 13 years for the naming rights to the new stadium.

July 23, 1998: All luxury suites at Raymond James Stadium are sold out.

July 29, 1998: The Bucs announce the north end zone in the stadium will belong to Buccaneer Cove, whose signature will be a 103-foot pirate ship.

August 1998: Tickets for the eight home Bucs games sell out in record time.

September 20, 1998: The Bucs defeat the Chicago Bears, 27-15, in the first event at Raymond James Stadium.

October 22-25, 1998: Billy Graham’s final Crusade is held at RJS.

January 28, 2001: The Baltimore Ravens defeat the New York Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV.

February 1, 2009: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-24, in Super Bowl XLIII.

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