The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday the next phase in their more than $150 million renovation of Raymond James Stadium. The highlights of the latest phase include a new “lavish” club section of the stadium, a new retail store, expansion of the Hall of Fame Club section, and a new home team locker room.
With “high-end finishes and furnishings” the West Stadium Club will be home to about 60,000 square feet of lounge space, massive video walls, and a fancy sports bar. Entry to the taxpayer-funded section will require a very expensive club membership fee.
The upgrades are set to be completed by the start of the 2017-2018 football season.
Other upgrades include a new 10,000-square foot team store in the West Atrium, and the Fall of Fame Club North will add more than 100 seats.
“These are exciting times for our organization, both on and off the field,” said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford on Tuesday. “The redesigned West Stadium Club will be a game-changer for our fans that are looking for the best views of the action along with the comfort of an air-conditioned lounge. The new team store will also be a great destination for our fans looking for exclusive merchandise that they won’t find anywhere else.”
Other stadium enhancements include a new 18,700-square foot Buccaneers locker room, which will triple the size of the previous one, and a refresh to the Raymond James Stadium press box.
Previous upgrades included the new video boards at each end of the field, a new luxury section, and new sound system. Bucs officials say they are also plotting a "fourth phase" of the upgrades, adding that they hope the changes will help make Raymond James Stadium a good candidate to host future Super Bowls, and other events.
The Buccaneers won their final four home games, and six of their last eight overall, to cap a 9-7 season in 2016, just missing out on the playoffs. They will look to carry that momentum and excitement against a 2017 home slate that includes the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and NFC South rivals Carolina and New Orleans.