The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will soon be able to enjoy all the luxuries of a modern NFL stadium. Or rather, new videoboards and other assorted upgrades. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Hillsborough County officials are hopeful they can soon finalize an agreement on renovation of the stadium, while the Tampa Sports Authority is finally moving forward with $25 million in improvements they're obligated to finance under its agreement with the Bucs.
"We've been in negotiations for weeks back and forth with the Bucs and trying to finalize a deal and we're optimistic a renovation agreement can be reached in the near future," County Commissioner Ken Hagan told the Times.
The Buccaneers and the TSA have been promising to upgrade the stadium for years, but have failed to actually do anything so far. It looks like that may be different this time -- certainly they'll want to have these upgrades in place ahead of the college football national championship game in 2017, and indeed those upgrades were part of the bid that landed the stadium that game.
The Times has no details on the upgrades the Hillsborough County officials are negotiating, although Stroud does note that upgrades may make the stadium more prepared for future Super Bowl bids. The Tampa Bay area hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since 2009, despite multiple bids. Given all of the new stadiums around the country, the 17-year-old Raymond James Stadium will need to be updated to be able to compete with other venues.