The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are returning to Tampa, FL for training camp for the 2009 season. The last time the Bucs held training camp in their hometown was 2001 under former head coach Tony Dungy. In 2002, the Buccaneers moved training camp to Disney's Wide World of Sports complex under new head coach Jon Gruden.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds first reported that the moving of training camp was under consideration on February 20th in SR's Fab 5. The move to Tampa is believed to be in order for the Bucs to cut costs. The cost-cutting measures have come in a variety of ways from laying off a large number of employees to canceling the company holiday party last December.
Gruden was a big proponent of holding training camp in Orlando to get the team sequestered away from the distractions of being at home. Since the Bucs last held training camp in Tampa, they have built one of the best team training facilities in the NFL. The new One Buc Place opened in 2006.
It is unclear how fans will be allowed to watch training camp practices, but the organization is working on that issue. Around One Buc Place there is plenty of parking available, but there is no seating built along side any of the practice fields. One option would be for the Bucs to hold some open practices for fans at nearby Raymond James Stadium.
“The Buccaneers organization is excited to bring training camp home to Tampa in 2009,” said V.P. of business administration Brian Ford in a team-issued statement. “Our goal is to provide access to our fans here in Tampa during our preparation for the season while further utilizing our world-class facility. The Buccaneers would also like to thank Disney’s Wide World of Sports and the Celebration Hotel for their tremendous support and assistance over the past seven years.”