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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs will hold training camp at own facility



Friday the 13th is lucky for Bucs fans.

The team is moving training camp from Disney's Wide World of Sports to their own facility on MLK Boulevard.

When the Bucs moved to Disney in 2002, they had not begun to build the $30-million, state-of-the-art facility.

The issue is how to accomodate thousands of fans that want to watch practice every day and the Bucs are working on that problem with the City of Tampa.

“The Buccaneers organization is excited to bring training camp home to Tampa in 2009,” Brian Ford, Buccaneers Vice President of Business Administration, said in a news release issued by the team. “Our goal is to provide access to our fans here in Tampa during our preparation for the season while further utilizing our world-class facility.''

There are three practice fields at the new One Buc Place and enough room to erect temporary seating. But issues like traffic patterns, parking and safety have to be worked out with public officials. That said, just a block away, the New York Yankees hold spring training with about 10,000 fans a day streaming into George S. Steinbrenner stadium.

There is great expense to holding training camp at Disney or any other facility. Everything has to be moved -- football equipment, training rooms, video equipment, meeting rooms, locker rooms -- you name it. So you can believe there is an economic component to this decision.

But when the new facility was built, it was with the intent that training camp would eventually be held there.

Philosophically, Jon Gruden always liked taking his team out of town, away from the wives, children and girlfriends as a way to build chemistry among teammates. It can be an advantage in that sense. But if you have ever had the opportunity to tour the new One Buc Place, you'd understand why there is really no reason - economic or otherwise - to leave the area.

It's a new regime with coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik and apparently time for a change.

The good news is that Tampa fans won't have to travel I-4 to watch training camp.

Here is the news release issued by the team:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that they will conduct their 2009 training camp this summer at One Buccaneer Place.

The Buccaneers are in the process of working with the City of Tampa to request a change in their current development approval to allow the practices to be open to the public. Under the current development approval, the Buccaneers are permitted to hold training camp at the facility, but the team must seek an amendment to that approval for the public to attend.

The camp will take place during parts of the months of July and August. Dates for training camp will be announced at a later time.

“The Buccaneers organization is excited to bring training camp home to Tampa in 2009,” said Brian Ford, Buccaneers Vice President of Business Administration. “Our goal is to provide access to our fans here in Tampa during our preparation for the season while further utilizing our world-class facility. The Buccaneers would also like to thank Disney’s Wide World of Sports and the Celebration Hotel for their tremendous support and assistance over the past seven years.”

The Buccaneers’ state-of-the-art training facility opened for business in August 2006 and the 136,320-square-foot complex has every conceivable advancement related to the game of football. The facility is already being touted as the standard by which all future sports facilities will be measured.

One Buccaneer Place features full-sized practice fields; a 9,353-square-foot weight room in a separate building; a sprawling training area with the most modern tools for the team’s medical staff; a 2,400-square-foot team auditorium fronted by an enormous video screen; a video control room; dozens of wired meeting rooms; a dedicated draft room, spacious coaches offices; a fully-contained kitchen and dining area; a locker room more than double the size of its predecessor and much, much more. The facility also houses all of the front office departments.

Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista hosted training camp since 2002, and prior to that Tampa Bay had trained at the University of Tampa from 1987-2001.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:28pm]


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