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Bucs announce plan to welcome back fans for home games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans will soon be able to watch Tom Brady in person.

TAMPA, Fla — Bucs fans will soon be able to cheer them on from the stands of Raymond Stadium. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers plan on letting some long-time season ticket holders back for games starting October 4. Season pass members with continuous membership since 1998 or earlier will get the chance to buy a limited number of tickets beginning Oct. 1 in "recognition for their loyalty to the team."

The Oct. 4 game versus the Los Angeles Chargers is being considered a "soft opening" for fans as the NFL franchise works to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, beginning on Oct. 18 against the Green Bay Packers, seating at Raymond James Stadium will be at approximately 25 percent capacity. At that time, all season pass members who kept their 2020 pass payments as credits toward 2021 will be able to buy a limited number of tickets for up to two games for the rest of the 2020 home schedule as part of the Priority Presale.

"Additional games may be offered in the future based on availability and tenure," the Bucs announced Saturday. "Tickets through the Priority Presale for the remainder of the season will go on sale starting on Monday, Oct. 5."

Luxury Suite members will be able to access their suites for all remaining games this season, including the one on Oct. 4.

"Hall of Fame members and Legends Club members also will be afforded the opportunity to attend all remaining games, with seating and pricing to be determined based on availability due to physical distancing measures," the Bucs said.

The Bucs cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order to move the state into Phase 3 of its reopening plan, coupled with "extensive" safety measures at Raymond James Stadium, as the reasons for allowing fans to return.

“The safety of all involved has been our No. 1 priority throughout this process,” Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford wrote in a statement. “There simply is no way to replicate the energy and excitement that our fans provide for our players on the field. We remain thankful for the opportunity to experience this great season alongside our most passionate fans at Raymond James Stadium.” 

When fans return, they can expect to see a variety of health and safety measures, including socially-distanced seating, fully mobile ticketing and cashless transactions, touchless hardware in restrooms, enhanced sanitation measures and extra food preparation safety protocols.

“We have been working tirelessly with local and state authorities, as well as medical experts, to ensure a safe environment at Raymond James Stadium,” Ford said. “We are ready and excited to welcome our fans back.” 

The team will join the Tampa Sports Authority and the University of South Florida for a virtual news conference on the matter at 1 p.m. on Sept. 29.

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