A dramatic football-shaped entrance will make the Bucs' new facility one of Tampa's most distinctive buildings
For nearly three decades, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have called One Buccaneer Place home. Now it's time to put up the 'For Sale' sign.
Before the 2006 season, the Buccaneers will have a new home, a state-of-the-art headquarters and training facility located across the street from Raymond James Stadium. Just as that playing venue was called the NFL's 'crown jewel' upon its opening in 1998, the team's new training facility will be the finest in the league.
The Buccaneers held a press conference on Wednesday to unveil their new facility plans. It was a key moment in franchise history, a day on which the promise of a world-class training complex made complete the team's transformation into one of the nation's elite sports organizations.
"This is a very exciting day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," said Executive Vice President Joel Glazer. "The new facility will give our players, coaches and staff an unparalleled environment in which to work."
Since the Glazer family purchased the Buccaneers in 1995, the team has moved into a fabulous new stadium, built a season-ticket waiting list of more than 100,000, become a favorite destination for NFL free agents and – most importantly – completed the ultimate on-field achievement, a Super Bowl championship. A 145,000-square-foot facility with endless modern amenities is only a fitting place for the team to train.
The signature of the new facility will be its breathtaking entrance, which will feature the world's largest football, towering nearly five stories tall.
Inside, the team will reap the benefits of an expansive, modern facility, including a locker room more than twice the size of the current one, a weight room double the current one, a training room nearly five times as large and a 4,000-square-foot team auditorium. Among the new spaces in the new facility that do not exist at the current site are a team dining room and kitchen, a coaches' studio and a draft room.
"This is certainly a significant day for our entire organization," said Head Coach Jon Gruden. "We will be working, practicing and preparing every day in a state-of-the-art facility. It represents an exciting time to be associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
The new facility will be located on the Tampa Bay Center mall site just to the east of Raymond James Stadium. It will take approximately 18-24 months to build following the groundbreaking. Construction will begin when the team has selected a builder for the $30 million project. The team believes construction could possibly begin this fall.
The Buccaneers' current one-story facility gives the team 42,000 square feet of space on a seven-acre lot. The new two-story headquarters will be 145,000 square feet on a 14.2-acre footprint, which will give the team ample space for the present and plenty of room to grow. By comparison, the Baltimore Ravens training facility currently under construction totals 115,000 square feet, while the Atlanta Falcons' facility, completed in 1996, totals 75,000 square feet. The St. Louis Rams' facility, also completed in 1996 contains 90,000 square feet.
The Bucs' new surroundings will only further enhance Tampa as an attractive spot for prospective free agents. The team's recent success, highly-respected coaching staff, fair-weather venue and grass playing field were already big draws; now the Bucs will be able to show visiting players around the league's top training site.
"Our players and coaching staff are looking forward to working in a championship atmosphere with all of the first-class amenities in professional sports," said General Manager Bruce Allen. "It will also be a valuable recruiting tool in securing the top players in the league."
For a series of questions and answers regarding the Buccaneers' new facility, please click here.
To view artists' renderings of the facility, please click here.