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Tampa Bay Buccaneers will move training camp to One Buccaneer Place

TAMPA — Most NFL players dream of winning the final game, staring into the cameras and earning endorsement dollars by proclaiming, "I'm going to Disney World!"

For the past seven years, that was the destination for the Bucs to begin the season.

No more.

The Bucs announced Friday that they will move training camp from Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista to their training facility known as One Buc Place.

"I think it's great," linebackers coach Joe Barry said. "It's not an argument, we have the best facility in the NFL. I think once that thing was built, it only makes sense for you to stay and use it. We have everything there we need. I'm excited and I know the video people, the trainers, weight room staff — to be able to have everything self-contained and not have to move stuff — I know they're going to be excited about it. That's great news."

Still unresolved is how to accommodate thousands of fans who want to watch practice every day, and the Bucs are working on that problem with the city of Tampa. It requires a change of zoning ordinances to permit the team to allow fans to gain entrance to the facility.

That process could take a few months, but club officials are optimistic, particularly since the Yankees' baseball spring training home just a few blocks west of One Buc Place has the proper zoning to accommodate as many as 10,000 fans per game at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

"Under the current developmental approval, the Bucs are permitted to hold training camp at the facility, but the team must seek an amendment to that approval for the public to attend," said Brian Ford, the Bucs vice president of business administration.

The Bucs have three practice fields at their 136,320-square-foot complex that opened in August 2006, plenty of room to erect temporary seating. One Buc Place also features a 9,353-square-foot weight room; a sprawling training area with the most modern tools for the medical staff; and a 2,400-square-foot team auditorium, among other things.

"The Buccaneers organization is excited to bring training camp home to Tampa in 2009," Ford said. "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."

Disney's complex had hosted training camp since 2002, and before that Tampa Bay had trained at the University of Tampa from 1987 to 2001.

At the time, the Bucs said their move to Lake Buena Vista would help enlarge their fan base in Central Florida. The team also took over the Celebration Hotel, where they housed players, served meals and held meetings.

Most likely, the Bucs will utilize one of several hotels within 5 miles of their facility for training camp in 2009, which is held in July and early August.

NFL news

Rams release Holt: Wide receiver Torry Holt, 32, one of the last holdovers from the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" glory days, was released Friday, three days after tackle Orlando Pace, 33, met the same fate. Combined, the moves create $14 million in salary cap space. Only defensive end Leonard Little and quarterback Marc Bulger (an inactive backup) remain from the team that lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots in 2002.

Browns: Former Jets linebacker Eric Barton and former Seahawks offensive lineman Floyd Womack signed.

Chiefs: Clancy Pendergast, the defensive coordinator for Arizona's run to the Super Bowl, was named defensive coordinator in Kansas City. … Cornerback David Macklin was arrested in Newport News on a drunken driving charge, Virginia State Police said.

Ravens: Cornerback Samari Rolle, 32, is expected to be released in the next few days, said his agent, Peter Schaffer. The team signed free agent Domonique Foxworth, so Rolle asked for his release.

Titans: Restricted free agent cornerback Jarrett Bush signed an offer sheet, giving the Packers seven days to match.

Suit settled: Former Saints running back Deuce McAllister settled a lawsuit against a New Orleans nightclub where he said he was manhandled by Razzoo Bar bouncers, his attorney confirmed. Details of the settlement were to remain confidential.

Case dismissed: A Houston judge dismissed DWI and possession of marijuana charges against free agent receiver Reggie Williams. According to a statement from EAG Sports Management, which represents Williams, he had a 0.05 blood-alcohol content. The limit at which Texas presumes intoxication is 0.087.

Information from Times wires was sued in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers will move training camp to One Buccaneer Place 03/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 16, 2009 9:17am]
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