Bucs tweaking public access to training camp
The Buccaneers will hold their training camp at their Tampa headquarters for the second straight season, and the public will again be invited.
But that public access is changing significantly, the team said today.
Following the concept that less is more, the Bucs will limit public access to seven workouts, but they have targeted practices that are scheduled to be full-contact, full-squad workouts, as opposed to some where spectators may leave less than satisfied (special-teams practices, etc.). And the open practices will all be held on a single field, alleviating the problem of fans having to predict where to sit and risk being in poor position to view the action. There also will be more extensive autograph sessions and photo opportunities during and after practices.
Last year, the first year camp was held in Tampa after seven years on Disney's grounds in Lake Buena Vista, every practice was open to the public.
Additionally, the team said it plans to hold a free practice at Raymond James Stadium for the second straight season, complete with a fireworks display, on Saturday, August 7. The evening will also feature $1 hot dogs and soft drinks, part of the club's effort to continue reaching out to its fanbase.
The Bucs said they referred to fan feedback and an internal review of the club's first training camp at the current facility last year.
The team will continue using the One Buc Club on buccaneers.com to distribute tickets for training camp. The free tickets will be available on-site but only if space is available.
"Incorporating fan feedback and an organizational review of last year's inaugural training camp at One Buc Place, we have designed a more streamlined public schedule with more entertaining views, action, and access," spokesman Jonathan Grella said. "This year’s public offering provides the up-close, full-team, padded practices -- as well as more extensive autograph and photo opportunities -- that our fans most enjoy. We will closely monitor camp and gladly open additional dates, if needed."
The Bucs found that after the initial high demand for tickets during the first few days, demand dropped significantly, particularly on weekdays when many fans are working. Three of the seven open practices will be held on weekends, including the first two days of camp: July 31 and and August 1.
The full schedule follows:
July 31: 10:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
August 1: 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m.
August 2: 10:20 a.m.-12:0 p.m.
August 4: 10:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
August 5: 2:30 p.m.-4:35 p.m.
August 6: 10:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
August 7: 7 p.m.-9 p.m. (Raymond James Stadium)