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What’s different about a Vipers home opener at Raymond James

Gates to Raymond James Stadium will open to fans at 12:30 p.m. for a 2 p.m. kickoff against Houston.
The XFL begins its 10-week regular season Feb. 8, one week after the NFL's Super Bowl.
The XFL begins its 10-week regular season Feb. 8, one week after the NFL's Super Bowl. [ CLIFF WELCH | Icon Sportswire ]
Published Feb. 21, 2020|Updated Feb. 21, 2020

PLANT CITY — After playing their first two XFL games on the road, the Tampa Bay Vipers will finally host a home game Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.

Here are some things to know if you plan on attending:

Green or red?

The Vipers’ green, lime and gold team colors don’t necessarily match with the red seating bowl and decor of Raymond James for the Bucs. However, XFL fans will see a bit of change in the aesthetics with Vipers-themed wraps and art around the field and throughout the stadium, similar to how USF uses Ray Jay for its home games.

Related: Will rules like allowing the double forward pass keep the XFL exciting?

Don’t miss The Snake Pit

Fans that aren’t quite ready to enter the stadium can spend some time in "The Snake Pit,” a family-friendly fan zone area that will offer food and beverages, photo opportunities, music and more. Those interested in the experience can visit The Pit in the south plaza, right next to the ticket office, starting at noon.

What’s to eat?

All of the main concessions in the lower-bowl portion of Raymond James, as well as select concessions in the East Club, will be open to Saturday. Fans can pay for their purchase using a credit card or cash.

Concessions on will include hot dogs, burgers, corn dogs, sandwiches and sliders, Cuban sandwiches, cheesesteak sandwiches, nachos, tacos, sushi, mac n’ cheese, Italian sausage/bratwurst, popcorn, soft pretzels, peanuts, cheese cups and kids meals. Limited gluten-free options will also be available.

Check out the locals

Tampa Bay’s team is full of locals that started out in the area. Here are some players to keep an eye on this weekend:

  • Robert Priester, a Robinson High School product, went on to play at Wyoming. He’s spent his college and pro career as a cornerback, but despite his size (5-foot-9, 178 pounds) he’s making a smooth transition to strong safety. He wears No. 21 and has three tackles so far this season.
  • Lakewood High product Ryan Davis was Pinellas County’s all-time leading passer and is the all-time receptions leader at Auburn. He is a reserve receiver and third on the depth chart at punt returner. He wears No. 83.
  • Bobby Richardson, a defensive lineman out of Plant High School, is in the rotation as a defensive end. He played collegiately at Indiana and logged 15 games with the Saints in 2015. He wears No. 91 and has recorded seven tackles so far this season.
  • S.J. Green, a Brandon High School and USF product, has seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the CFL and is a member of three Grey Cup-winning teams in Montreal and Toronto with Vipers coach Marc Trestman. He wears No. 1.
  • Dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers, a three-year starter at USF, was the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and left as the conference’s all-time leader in total offense with nearly 11,800 yards He wears No. 9 and is 4-for-11 for 55 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards on 10 rushes.
  • Aaron Murray, a state-championship winning quarterback at Plant High School who starred at Georgia, is unlikely to play on Saturday because of a foot injury. He wears No. 11.
  • Chase Litton, a quarterback out of Wharton High School who went on to play for Marshall before playing in the NFL. He wears No. 8 but Is not expected to play this weekend against Houston. He’s currently fourth on the quarterback depth chart.

Get your tickets

Tickets are available online for $24 to $108. Tier 7 tickets are the cheapest — seats located in both end zones — while tickets along the sidelines range from $48 to $90.

The Vipers drew an announced crowd of 17,634 people for their season opener on the road against New York and an XFL season-high 29,172 last week in Seattle.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.


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