Watching an NFL match is a highlight (of any Florida vacation). With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins you have three options in Florida (the only other state with three teams is California).
Closest to our vacation home in Cocoa Beach are the Buccaneers. Here is our guide to help you plan and prepare for that special game day experience.
What kind of tickets should I buy?
One thing to consider is the time of the game (if you do have choices). It can get very hot during the 1 pm matches and in the afternoon there is a risk of thunderstorms. So if there is an evening game scheduled that would be the best option.
The stadium offers great viewing from most areas. Sitting in sections ending in 09-12 (e.g. 209, 210,…) or 34-37 will have you positioned between the 30 yardlines. The best bargain is section 217-220. These corner sections give you a good view of the field, the videoboard and the pirate ship for a lower price.
If you want to party then the sections 146-149 in front of the Buccaneers Cove are your choice.
I like the upper deck if you can get seats in the front rows. If you should be there for a 4 pm game try to avoid the east rang so that you do not have to look into the sun.
Where to park
Different parking options are available. The closest lots to the stadium are located on North Dale Mabry and Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Check out the parking map prior to your trip as I find it sometimes difficult to locate the spaces.
If you plan to arrive early you can also park in one of the private parking lots nearby the stadium which are usually offered around $20.
Tailgating is permitted but is limited to the purchased parking space.
What to bring
The NFL discourages the use of personal bags in all of its stadiums in order to speed up the entry process. The Nfl currently allows one clutch purse no larger than 4.5” by 6.5”. If your bag does not pass the security check, lockers are available onsite near gate C.
Even though being in Florida the stadium does not have covered seating. So prepare for the sun with a hat and sunscreen.
While you are not allowed to bring in (plastic) water bottles, you can get free cups with ice which you can use at the water fountains.
Food and drinks
There is plenty of space on the concourses so that you can walk around and have a look for your preferred eating and drinking options. In the north end zone plaza, there are many food stands.
Around the rest of Raymond James Stadium, regardless of seating level, the food stands are a little more standard.
The team store is located at the west side of Raymond James stadium. It is open before and after but not during the game. It has in-store exclusive items.
Another option is to stock up on your team gear before the game. The NFL online shop has good options and always some special offers.
And a souvenir cup is a nice memory from your game day.