Raymond James Stadium
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Year Opened: 1998 | Field Surface: Natural Grass
Raymond James Stadium opened in 1998 as home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, South Florida Bulls and Outback Bowl and quickly became one of the most celebrated stadiums in the country.
According to the school, the stadium has the largest student section (12,501) of all teams in the Big East.
It is notable for its 103-foot, 43-ton replica pirate ship symbolic of its NFL host, complete with cannons that fire six times after a touchdown, three for a field goal and once for an extra point. NFL players have ranked Raymond James' playing surface as the best in the league, and BucVision was the first video screen in any pro sport to show replays and images in high definition.
Raymond James Financial bought naming rights to the stadium at its opening. The stadium replaced Tampa Stadium, affectionately dubbed The Big Sombrero.
Raymond James Stadium, also known as Ray Jay, hosted Super Bowls XXXV and XLIII.
South Florida's Bulls nickname was certainly not the first choice for the school; everything from Fighting Chickens to Desert Rats had originally been considered. The Golden Brahman won a school contest over the Buccaneer and was officially unveiled Nov. 17, 1962. The Golden Brahman was suggested to compete with the Texas Longhorns, since Florida also was a cattle-raising state. The nickname was changed in the early 1980s to Bulls for promotional purposes, and the costumed Rocky the Bull is now used for several athletic events and also is an ambassador for the school.
The "Go Bulls!" hand signal, similar to Texas' "Hook 'em Horns," is a mainstay at USF sporting events. It was initiated as a good luck symbol for free-throw shooters.
Sources: University of South Florida, Raymond James Stadium.
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