TAMPA, Fla. — The day Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans have been waiting on is finally here. The first game of the year is Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys, and a sold-out crowd is expected at Raymond James Stadium. Here, find everything you need to know about the NFL's regular-season kickoff game.
Kickoff time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium
Tickets: SOLD OUT (still available through the "secondary market")
Weather: Chance of rain/storms in the early evening before 8 p.m. Then scattered showers
Temperature: upper 70s to low 80s
Winds: 5-10 mph
Gates: Open for suite/club level at 5:45; open for all levels at 6:45 p.m.
TRAFFIC AND PARKING
Drivers and pedestrians should allow for extra travel time and to travel through the area with caution. Those not attending the game are encouraged to travel on alternate routes.
Expect heavy traffic on the main roads around the stadium including: Dale Mabry, Himes, Columbus and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Also, Tom McEwen Blvd. (AKA Tampa Bay Blvd.) will be closed between Dale Mabry and Himes Ave.
Wednesday, September 8, 7:00 p.m. to Friday, September 10, 5:00 a.m. - Northbound outside lane on N Boulevard from W Cypress Street and W Green Street - W Laurel Street between N Boulevard and Doyle Carlton Drive
Parking lots open at 4:45 and RVs can park in Lot 14.
Fans will not be temperature screened and masks are not required at the stadium. The team and NFL does encourage the usage of masks for encouraged indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
The Tampa Sports Authority is continuing with enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-traffic areas. All restrooms have been retrofitted with touchless fixtures and all concession stands will have plexiglass dividers with all staff wearing masks.
All parking lots and concessions are completely cashless. Reverse ATMs will be available to convert cash into cards for purchases. Mobile ordering will also be available with pickups at eight different areas in Raymond James Stadium.
Fans are also invited to the NFL Kickoff Experience at Julian B. Lane Park in Tampa, with a pregame concert featuring Ed Sheeran. Dr. Jill Roberts, an associate professor at the University of South Florida's College of Public Health, reminds people even if you're vaccinated, you can still catch COVID-19 and spread it, and recommends everyone wear a mask.
“Just one person not being responsible can really ruin things," said Roberts. "We have some data that just shows one person who's infected can infect so many other people and that just spreads like wildfire once it gets to one person and another and another so again, be responsible, just wear the mask, don’t go if you’re sick.”
NOTE: These may have limited availability based on geographic and device restrictions.
Favorite: Buccaneers, -7.5
(Lines per Caesars Sportsbook/CBSSports.com)
Dallas was 5-11 against the spread in 2020
Tampa Bay was 0-5 against the spread in primetime games in 2020
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