Raymond James Stadium became a smoke and tobacco-free venue today, according to an announcement from the Tampa Sports Authority.
A new smoke and tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, e-cigarettes and vapors pipes inside the stadium. It will be in place for all stadium events, from Buccaneers and Bulls games to concerts. Taylor Swift's upcoming Reputation Stadium Tour on August 14 will be the first event impacted by the new tobacco ban.
The announcement follows yesterday's vote from the TSA Board of Directors to eliminate all designated smoking areas that used to be inside the stadium. Visitors who want to use tobacco products are advised to do so before entering Raymond James Stadium, as re-entry will not be allowed.
The goal of the policy is to eliminate second-hand smoke and improve air quality for fans.
"Our commitment has always been to provide the most enjoyable fan experience and we feel that making Raymond James Stadium a smoke and tobacco-free venue is a necessary part of that commitment," said Tampa Sports Authority President/CEO Eric Hart. "The need for this healthier environment was evident from fan feedback, national trends and feedback from our tenants such as the Buccaneers and USF."
How does Raymond James Stadium's new policy compare to those of other stadiums in the area?
According to the Rays' official MLB website, use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes are not permitted anywhere inside the stadium. Guests can smoke in fenced areas outside of gates 2, 5, 6, and 7, or on the ramps at gates 2, 5, and 6.
Smoking is not permitted inside the arena. Guests may take the southwest stair tower across from sections 328 and 126 down to level 2 and go outside to smoke, according to the Amalie Arena's website.
The Yuengling Center's website states smoking, tobacco use, and use of related products such as e-cigarettes on the University of South Florida Tampa campus property, including the stadium, is prohibited.