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Expect Heavy Traffic In Downtown Tampa, Near Raymond James Stadium For Bucs' Season Opener

Raymond James Stadium as seen from the parking lot
Carl Lisciandrello
WUSF Public Media
Several roads in downtown Tampa and around Raymond James Stadium will be closed ahead of the Bucs' season opener against the Dallas Cowboys

Roads in downtown Tampa and around Raymond James Stadium will be closed as the Tampa Bay Bucs open defense of their Super Bowl championship on Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

Motorists near Raymond James Stadium and downtown Tampa can expect heavy traffic ahead of the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs' season opener Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

The game is sold out, and crowds are expected to arrive at the stadium well before tonight's 8:20 p.m. kickoff.

In addition, downtown traffic is expected to be heavy for the NFL Kickoff at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park starting at noon.

It will include appearances by Bucs players, as well as performances by the Florida A&M University Marching 100 band, and a pregame concert featuring Ed Sheeran at 7 p.m. Fans can also take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and a watch party will be held during the game.

Parking lots at Raymond James Stadium open at 4:45 p.m., and gates open at 6:45 p.m.

The following roads will be closed near the stadium, and motorists are urged to use alternate routes:

  • North Dale Mabry Highway
  • North Himes Avenue
  • West Columbus Drive
  • West Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
  • Tom McEwen Boulevard, between Dale Mabry and Himes

For the NFL Kickoff, the northbound outside lane on North Boulevard will be closed from West Cypress Street to West Green Street, and West Laurel Street between North Boulevard and Doyle Carlton Drive will be closed until Friday at 5 a.m.

Fans can also take the TECO Streetcar from Ybor City to downtown. Parking is available at the Centro Ybor and Palm Avenue garages, and motorists can also park at the Royal Regional, Crosstown, Convention Center, William F. Poe garages.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
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