Fair-weather fans? Rain keeps tailgaters away from Bucs preseason home opener


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It probably comes as no surprise that the Buccaneers’ preseason home owner was not jam-packed with tailgating.

Friday saw consistently soggy conditions with even a short-lived tornado warning in Hillsborough County during the early afternoon.

The rain was persistent, but not as persistent as the handful of fans who still opted to tailgate in the waterlogged parking lots at Raymond James stadium.

When asked what amount of weather would have kept him away, Aaron Schindler said none. “Everything but a hurricane, maybe.”

Schindler is a longtime Bucs fan visiting from Colorado, attending his first Bucs game as a birthday gift. While the weather was far from beach weather, he still opted to kick off his first game with some drinks beforehand at Bucs Beach.

“I’m here rain or shine,” he said.

There was a similar determination from Bill Morris and his family, huddled under a tent as the longtime fans threw their first tailgate. They said no amount of weather was keeping them away, either.

“Absolutely not,” Bill Morris said. “We were coming.”

Meanwhile, Jerry Bridges has been tailgating at RayJay for 20+ years and says it takes a lot more than rain to scare him away.

“No reason to miss out because a little bit of rain,” said the Florida native.

As the rain cleared out and fans piled out of the stadium, we asked if braving the rain for the game was worth it.

“We’re not fair-weather fans!” insisted Mark Wolfson. “Go Bucs!”

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