Raymond James Stadium to undergo $10.4 million in pandemic-related upgrades

By Matt Johnson
Sep 25, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers pirate ship in the end zone against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers already won the offseason by signing Tom Brady and trading for Rob Gronkowski. Now, things are about to get even better for fans at Raymond James Stadium with some huge money going towards pandemic-related upgrades for the stadium.

Raymond James Stadium to receive $10.4 million in COVID-19 pandemic upgrades

While there is increasing fear within the NFL that fans won’t be able to attend games early this season, Hillsborough County is doing everything it can to get Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to Raymond James Stadium.

According to the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud, the Hamilton County Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on spending $10.4 million from the federal government’s CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

If the measure is approved, it would immediately go towards a series of 40 modifications at Raymond James Stadium to make it a safer environment that also follows social-distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the upgrades, per the Tampa Bay Times, the stadium could use a PA system in parking lots for announcements ($250,000), touchscreen ticket scanners ($502,000), portable wash stations ($480,000) and retrofitted restrooms.

It would be just the first wave of numerous modifications made. From there, the project would launch into Phase 2 by modifying the press box to create larger spaces and Phase 3 would create changes to entry gates, clubs and checkpoints.

The Buccaneers have yet to announce what the stadium capacity at Raymond James Stadium will be for the 2020 NFL season. The news is expected later this week and could reflect similar moves made by the Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers.

Florida’s COVID-19 cases

Since Florida reopened in May, the state has seen its number of new COVID-19 cases skyrocket on a regular basis. As a result of far more people going out, the state has now become a record-breaking hot spot for the spread of the coronavirus.

Most recently, Florida shattered the country’s record for new cases of COVID-19 in a single day with more than 15,000. As detailed by CNN, the state has 12x the cases of Australia and South Korea combined and the rapid increase is quickly outpacing a majority of countries.

While Florida continues to experience problems, the NBA is still holding its bubble in Walt Disney World in Orlando and intends to resume its season on July 30. Meanwhile, it seems likely that the state will be holding NFL and college football games this season.