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Everybody Loves Raymond James Stadium
(well, not everybody)
Raymond James Stadium
[Times files,2000: Skip O'Rourke]
A county tax finances Raymond James Stadium, swelling Bucs revenues and bringing the Super Bowl to town. Not everyone calls it a good investment.

By JEFF TESTERMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001


TAMPA -- At a 7-Eleven store several blocks south of Raymond James Stadium, Dave Rusinyak digs deep for a $5 bill to pay for a couple of soft drinks and a pack of Pall Malls.

The 41-year-old welder is doing his part to bring Super Bowl XXXV to Tampa. About 21/2 cents from Rusinyak's $5 goes toward the public's $392-million mortgage on Raymond James Stadium, the football palace whose construction guaranteed Tampa its third Super Bowl.

The state-of-art facility and a sweetheart lease also put a fortune into Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer's pocket. His team, once the NFL's laughingstock, is now the fourth most valuable franchise in football's universe.

Continued

raymond james stadium[Times photo: Chris Schneider]
Resodding, striping and affixing logos were accomplished last week.

Special photo gallery

Many of the articles below are from an archive of a special stadium-opening section that was published September 18, 1998

Stadium preens for big day
New turf, more seats, goings-on in the bowels of the stadium: These are but a few of the preparations for Jan. 28.

Marquis de Sod
NFL groundskeeper George Toma spent Christmas "babysitting'' the Super Bowl turf at Greg Norman's farm in Central Florida. Early this month, it replaced the present regular-season grass in Raymond James Stadium.

Maps
Getting to the stadium, parking, seating chart and levels.

Stadium rose despite challenges
It was a bumpy ride to get the stadium financed and built.

Ultimate luxury
Raymond James Stadium was designed to have it all at a relatively affordable price.

Access for disabled is much improved
Among other amenities, new stadium has 10 times as many wheelchair spaces.

How suite it is
The new stadium's many luxury suites are closer to the field and feature windows that can slide out of the way for an open-air feel.

The Bucs' blades
The turf is carefully planted and tended, with every weed pulled by hand.

The payoff for the county is in pride, not dollars
The stadium, financed mostly by taxpayers, is a big moneymaker for the Bucs, not Hillsborough.

Parking: arrive early
Many new goodies can be found at Raymond James Stadium, but don't hold your breath for less hassle finding a place to park.

Questions and answers
about Raymond James Stadium

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