If you're a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium is the only place to be this coming Saturday.
Whether you want to add to your autograph collection, meet Carl Nicks in person, watch Vincent Jackson catch passes from Josh Freeman or see the first live team scrimmage of the Greg Schiano era, you'll find it all at the Buccaneers' game-day home this Saturday, August 4.
Heck, maybe you'd just like to watch some fireworks and eat a couple $1 hot dogs. You can do that too, alongside thousands of your fellow Buccaneer fans. It's all going to come together on one glorious afternoon and evening at Raymond James Stadium...and best of all, it's free!
This unprecedented opportunity for Buccaneer fans is what happens when two of the team's most enduringly popular offseason events – FanFest and Night Practice – are combined into one can't-miss event. Schiano's Buccaneers are already hard at work preparing for the 2012 season, but Saturday is a special chance for the players and coaches to connect with the fans, both on and off the field, and to share their excitement for the upcoming campaign.
As was previously announced, the Buccaneers will take their training camp over to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday for the annual Night Practice Presented by Bright House Networks. The stadium gates will be open to all fans, no ticket required, as the Bucs want to show off the progress they've made so far. The team will be introduced at 6:30 and practice for roughly two-and-a-half hours, highlighted by a full-speed intra-squad scrimmage.
However, the gates to the stadium will actually open at 4:00 p.m., and the entire team will already be on hand, ready to meet the fans and sign autographs, as had become tradition at the annual FanFest. Unlike the FanFests of recent years, those attending will not need to acquire vouchers in order to line up for autographs. The team will be split into two groups, offense and defense, and will be seated at tables on the Main Concourse in order to meet the fans. For several of the team's newcomers, from Nicks and Jackson to Mark Barron and Doug Martin, it will be their first chance to see the passion of Buccaneer fans up close.
As has also become tradition, the Buccaneers will use Night Practice to give their fans a deeper understanding of how they prepare for football games using the stadium's BucVision videoboards. Coach Schiano and General Manager Mark Dominik will conduct interviews from the field and assistant coaches will use BucVision to explain the purpose of the various drills.
Immediately after the conclusion of the practice, players and fans alike will be treated to a magnificent fireworks show over the stadium's north end zone. While practice is going on, fans can also enjoy discounted concessions, including hot dogs and soft drinks for just a dollar each.
Parking for Night Practice and the preceding autograph session is free, there is no charge for stadium admittance or the autograph opportunities, and stadium seating is first-come, first-served for the action on the field.
It's the best of Night Practice and FanFest all rolled into one, and it's the perfect destination for Buccaneer fans this Saturday night!