TAMPA, Fla. — Raymond James Stadium will become a fully smoke and tobacco-free venue beginning in August.
The Tampa Sports Authority made the announcement on Wednesday, following a vote by the TSA Board of Directors.
The move means all designated smoking areas which had previously been located inside the stadium will be removed.
“ They’re kind of banishing smokers way to the edge of the earth like we don’t want you around anymore,” said Cheryl Howard.
Not quite that far, but the outside gates will be the barrier. The designated smoking spots inside are going away, and the only area you’ll be allowed to smoke is outside of the gates.
But once you’re out, you won’t be allowed back into the event you were attending. Howard says it seems a bit extreme
“If you don’t smoke and you don’t like smoke you can avoid that area,” she said.
The new policy takes effect immediately.
The first event that will be impacted will be the Taylor Swift concert on August 14.
The smoke and tobacco-free rule will be in place for all stadium events, including Buccaneers and Bulls football games, the Outback Bowl, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Monster Jam events and concerts.
"Our commitment has always been to provide the most enjoyable fan experience and we feel that making Raymond James Stadium a smoke and tobacco-free venue is a necessary part of that commitment," said Tampa Sports Authority President/CEO Eric Hart.
"The need for this healthier environment was evident from fan feedback, national trends and feedback from our tenants such as the Buccaneers and USF."
The ban also includes all areas located within the entrance gates.
The policy prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes or vapor pipes.
"I am one of those people who can go without smoking for long periods of time,” said Howard. “ But there are people who are genuinely addicted to nicotine and need to smoke."
The first event that will be impacted by the new rules is the Taylor Swift concert August 14.