An artist's rendering of the Bucs' new facility, to be built on property formerly occupied by the Tampa Bay Center mall
The walls are coming down at the Tampa Bay Center.
In terms of construction, it is the first step toward building a new training facility for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Wednesday, demolition of the mall will begin as the Bucs clear the way for the most advanced facility in the National Football League.
Head Coach Jon Gruden will not only be on hand to see the beginning of the mall's end, he will actually operate the machinery to take down the first wall. The demolition will begin on the far east side of the lot, where the Bucs' complex will be located. The site is is currently occupied by the defunct mall, which is located across the street from Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers have occupied their current training facility and team headquarters at One Buccaneer Place, near Tampa International Airport, since the franchise's inception in 1976.
"The demolition of the mall marks the beginning of an exciting time for our organization," said Buccaneers Senior Director of Business Administration Mike Newquist. "We are thrilled that this step signals the start of this historical project for our franchise."
Buccaneers.com will be on hand to document the beginning of the demolition. Please return on Wednesday for coverage of the event, complete with photos and video highlights.