TAMPA, Fla. — With the Super Bowl being played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many have wondered if the Bucs will be allowed to continue their long-standing tradition of firing cannons from their pirate ship. For regular-season games, the cannons blast once every time the Bucs reach the end zone and for every point scored.
The NFL has made its decision, and in a memo sent to the Bucs and Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, it declared that the Bucs will not be allowed to fire cannons during the game, league spokesperson Brian McCarthy told ESPN. However, the Bucs will be able to fire their cannons in their team introduction. The Bucs are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
“The Super Bowl is a neutral-site game, and each year we equitably incorporate elements unique to home games of both participating clubs,” McCarthy told ESPN. “As a result, the cannons will not fire in the same fashion as at a traditional Buccaneers home game. Cannon fire will be heard when the Buccaneers are introduced, and should they win, the cannons will fire loud and long at Raymond James Stadium and throughout Tampa Bay.”
The only time in recent years that cannons did not fire was in Week 2 in 2017, due to water damaging the electrical system during Hurricane Irma.
The Bucs released a statement on the NFL’s decision: “The firing of the cannons after big plays is a tradition that defines what it means to be a Buccaneer fan and serves as a signature element of our home game experience at Raymond James Stadium. However, we also acknowledge and understand the NFL’s position with regards to maintaining the integrity of a neutral site atmosphere for Super Bowl LV. While the cannons may not fire in their typical fashion, we look forward to showcasing parts of our tradition while working within the league’s guideline.”