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Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

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Home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NCAA's South Florida Bulls football team, the Raymond James Stadium is famous for its 103-foot, 43-ton pirate ship.
Pirate Ship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL

Pirate Ship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL

Photo (cc) Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons
The Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida is a sleek, sophisticated structure with soaring glass atriums and two enormous scoreboards, each spanning 94 feet wide by 24 feet high. But, for many visitors, the stadium's most memorable feature is the 103-foot steel-and-concrete pirate ship docked in the north end zone.

Modeled after a pirate ship from the early 1800s, the ship at Raymond James Stadium creates a dramatic spectacle at Buccaneer games. Whenever the Buccaneer team scores a field goal or a touchdown, the ship's cannon fires rubber footballs and confetti. An animatronic parrot perches on the ship's stern and chatters to football fans. The ship is part of Buccaneer Cove, a make-believe Caribbean village with concession stands selling tropical drinks.

While under construction, the Raymond James Stadium was called the Tampa Community Stadium. The stadium is now sometimes called the Ray Jay and the New Sombrero. The stadium's official name comes from the Raymond James Financial company, which purchased the naming rights shortly before the stadium opened. Their contract for the stadium name extends through 2015.

Fast Facts About the Raymond James Stadium:

Opened: September 20, 1998
Stadium Architect: HOK Sport
Pirate Ship and Buccaneer Cove: HOK Studio E and The Nassal Company
Construction Managers: Huber, Hunt & Nichols,
Joint Venture with Metric
Seats: 66,000, expandable to 75,000 for special events. New seats were installed in 2006 because the originals faded from red to pink

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