Hillsborough County

Smoking, tobacco products now banned from Raymond James Stadium

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Raymond James Stadium is now a venue completely free of smoke and tobacco.

On Wednesday, the Tampa Sports Authority announced that their Board of Directors voted Tuesday to remove all designated smoking areas that were previously inside the stadium.

The new policy went into effect immediately and will now be in place for all upcoming events at the stadium. Taylor Swift's concert on Aug. 14 will be the first event where smoking and tobacco products will be banned.

The policy means everywhere inside the stadium's entrance gates is smoke and tobacco-free. Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapor pipes are all prohibited.

Guests will still be able to smoke or use tobacco products before coming into the stadium, but they will not be able to exit and re-enter, Tampa Sports Authority officials said.

"Our commitment has always been to provide the most enjoyable fan experience and we feel that making Raymond James Stadium a smoke and tobacco-free venue is a necessary part of that commitment," Tampa Sports Authority President/CEO Eric Hart said in a statement. "The need for this healthier environment was evident from fan feedback, national trends and feedback from our tenants such as the Buccaneers and USF."

In a statement, the Buccaneers organization said they welcome the decision to move the stadium "in line with the growing number of NFL teams that play in smoke and tobacco-free stadiums."

"Our top priority is always focused on providing an unmatched game day experience and we have received consistent feedback that our fans would prefer a smoke and tobacco-free environment. We believe this necessary step will be yet another enhancement for everyone that attends events at Raymond James Stadium," Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford said.

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