On Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Commission will vote on whether to approve the $10,465,000 for the Tampa Sports Authority to use in specific modifications, equipment, and supplies to help Ray J be better equipped to handle some level of crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.
Per The Athletic:
The proposed changes will be entirely funded by the federal government’s CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, which gives local governments funding to help limit the spread of COVID-19 for public safety. The agenda proposal calls for the first and largest phase of the project to be completed by Oct. 31 (about midway through the NFL season as currently scheduled) and the balance finished by the end of the year.
Many of the proposed changes pertain to the stadium’s parking lots and entry points, limiting interaction between staff and fans as they park and enter the stadium for games. New touchless ticket scanners (costing $502,475) will “both reduce the number of staff required and the proximity of which the staff must stand to the attendees,” according to the agenda.
To help facilitate a staggered entry into the stadium before games, a new public-address system in parking lots (costing $250,000) will make announcements to fans on which groups can come to gates and when. The parking lots will have a touchless entry system, and there’s $125,000 just for shade canopies (14 tent structures) to protect those in inclement weather. They will add $225,000 in stanchions and barriers to set up queuing inside the stadium for escalators, ATMs and other areas, and they will add 6,600 cones (costing $50,000) to mark off parking spaces in the unlined grass lots.
There are additional upgrades to the stadium with an eye on having more “touch-free” amenities, again minimizing fans’ contact with anything: $425,000 to convert the stadium to touch-free toilets, $263,000 for touch-free faucets on all sinks and $100,000 for touch-free soap and paper-towel dispensers. There’s even $50,000 for “temporarily out of service” covers to place on sinks, urinals and paper-towel dispensers to help maintain social distancing in restrooms.
These are just some of the proposed changes for Raymond James Stadium.
Teams are starting to limit the amount of fans who will be allowed to enter the stadiums. The Jaguars announced last week that they will limit the crowds to 25% of the full capacity while the Ravens said they will allow fewer than 14,000 fans to their home games.