The Buccaneers are willing to pay some of the freight to fix up Raymond James Stadium, but they want a little something extra for their money also.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Bucs ownership is willing to pay $75 million toward a $100 million renovation of their home field, renovations they might need if they want to secure another Super Bowl. The work would be done before the January 2017 college football title game there.
The renovations are the standard stuff — HD scoreboards, new sound system, new video control room. They’ve been talking about the deal since January, with Hillsborough County and the Tampa Sports Authority picking up the rest of the tab.
But the Bucs also want the right to play a preseason game and perhaps as many as two regular season “home” games away from Raymond James Stadium, either somewhere else in Florida or abroad.
It sounds like someone has realized that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has done pretty well for himself taking a home game to London, and since the Bucs aren’t selling as well as they used to, goosing their ticket revenues with a practically guaranteed sellout overseas should help the bottom line.
The league’s also looking for volunteers to fill the schedule for the two games a year they’ve agreed to put in Tottenham Hotspur’s new North London stadium starting in 2018.
The Buccaneers are also forgiving the TSA the $11.6 they promised the team to build a practice facility.
Their current lease with the county and the TSA allows them to play one home game a year outside of Raymond James Stadium.
The TSA wants to amend the new deal to say the Bucs can’t move a second regular season game to the same city as the first one, which would ostensibly keep them from shipping both off to London. And they’re also looking for the promise of another event there, whether it’s the Super Bowl or a game featuring Manchester United, the English soccer giant the Glazer family owns.