TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Sports Authority, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and University of South Florida, announced today that Raymond James Stadium will become a fully smoke and tobacco-free venue beginning in August. The announcement follows yesterday’s vote by the TSA Board of Directors to remove all designated smoking areas which had previously been located inside the stadium.
The new policy takes effect immediately and will be in place for all stadium events, including Buccaneers and Bulls football games, the Outback Bowl, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Monster Jam events and concerts. The first event to be impacted by the prohibition on smoking and tobacco products will be Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour concert on August 14.
“Our commitment has always been to provide the most enjoyable fan experience and we feel that making Raymond James Stadium a smoke and tobacco-free venue is a necessary part of that commitment,” said Tampa Sports Authority President/CEO Eric Hart. “The need for this healthier environment was evident from fan feedback, national trends and feedback from our tenants such as the Buccaneers and USF.”
In accordance with the new policy all areas located within the entrance gates to Raymond James Stadium will be designated as smoke and tobacco-free. Patrons wishing to smoke or use tobacco products may still do so prior to entering the stadium, but will not be allowed to exit and re-enter. The policy prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes or vapor pipes.
Raymond James Stadium now joins the growing majority of professional and college venues that either severely limit or no longer allow smoking in any capacity in order to ensure a healthy atmosphere that maximizes air quality and eliminates second-hand smoke.
“We welcome this decision to move Raymond James Stadium in line with the growing number of NFL teams that play in smoke and tobacco-free stadiums,” said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. “Our top priority is always focused on providing an unmatched gameday experience and we have received consistent feedback that our fans would prefer a smoke and tobacco-free environment. We believe this necessary step will be yet another enhancement for everyone that attends events at Raymond James Stadium.”
“Creating the most enjoyable and safe atmosphere for all of our fans to enjoy USF Athletics contests is always a top priority,” said Vice President of USF Athletics Michael Kelly. “I believe our fans will embrace the decision for Raymond James Stadium to move to a smoke and tobacco-free environment. This is a good step in continuing to enhance our already excellent gameday experience.”