As the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare to kick off the 2021 NFL season with Thursday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced the various stadium protocols that will be in place for the upcoming season. Some health and safety protocols have been relaxed from last season, while others will remain in effect. The team is also strongly encouraging fans to arrive early for the game and to be in their seats by 8 p.m. for an historic Championship Celebration which will be featured on NBC's national broadcast.
"As we have stated all along, our top priority has been, and continues to be, the safety of all players, coaches, staff and fans at our games," said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. "We have worked closely with the Tampa Sports Authority and local authorities to ensure that Raymond James Stadium is ready for this special evening that is planned for Thursday night. In addition to the safety protocols, we are strongly encouraging our fans to plan to arrive early and to be seated by 8 p.m. for a show they won't soon forget."
Parking lots will open at 4:45 p.m. and suite holders and club seat members will be permitted to enter beginning at 5:45 p.m., while general stadium gates will be open beginning at 6:45 p.m. Upon entry, fans will go through new magnetometers that don't require items to be removed from pockets. In an effort to expedite the entry process, Raymond James Stadium will enforce a no-bag policy. As in previous seasons, no bags larger than 4.5" x 6.5" will be permitted. Fans can submit special needs requests here.
This season, fans will not be temperature screened and masks are not required, but are encouraged for 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 at Raymond James Stadium will continue to be a completely cashless this season. There will be reverse ATMs throughout the concourses for fans who need to convert cash into cards for purchases. Mobile ordering will also be available for convenience and safety – there will be pickup locations at eight different areas in Raymond James Stadium.
As in previous seasons, all fans are encouraged to download the Buccaneers app, the tool for ensuring the best gameday experience. To watch a "Know Before You Go" video featuring Buccaneers Team Reporter Casey Phillips, click here. To see a video from Antoine Winfield Jr. and Tristan Wirfs encouraging fans to arrive early, click here.