TAMPA — The familiar concourse had been replaced by a culture shock. At least that’s how Jay and Jessica Rybak saw it Saturday night.
Like myriad other Bucs patrons, the married season-ticket holders from Bonita Springs were a bit jarred upon approaching their seats in the lower level of Raymond James Stadium’s south end zone. Directly above them, where a sprawling walkway, Tiki bar and various concessions once existed, was a wide block of new makeshift seats.
“We’re kinda like, ‘Where do we get drinks?’ said Jessica Rybak, standing where the concourse once existed. “Because we’re used to coming right here, so we’re trying to figure out like, ‘Where do we go now?’”
Dubbed “The Krewe’s Nest,” the additional 3,600 seats debuted to mixed reviews (based on in-person and social media feedback) at the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Dolphins. A narrow “pass-thru” lane directly behind the section featured restrooms and some concession areas.
But not nearly the mingling space to which longtime stadium occupants are accustomed.
“Holy claustrophobia, Batman,” Sickles High assistant principal (and USF season-ticket holder) Joe Humphrey tweeted.
Others — namely those who had attempted in vain to purchase season tickets in the past — were delighted. The addition of the seats increases stadium capacity to nearly 70,000.
“I was just telling my wife (Melissa), we absolutely love them,” said Odessa’s David James, who recently snagged season tickets in the section for himself and his wife of 27 years. “It looks phenomenal, the seats are great. We’re excited about it.”
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.
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