Super Bowl 55: Do the Cannons on Raymond James Stadium’s Pirate Ship Actually Work?

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are, quite literally, staying home for Super Bowl 55.

The Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., is hosting the Big Game this year.

This isn’t the first time that Raymond James Stadium and its giant pirate ship have hosted a Super Bowl. Speaking of the pirate ship, do those cannons on the side actually fire, or are they only there for show? Let’s take a look.

Raymond James Stadium is hosting Super Bowl 55

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For the second straight year, a Super Bowl is being played in the Sunshine State.

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., hosted Super Bowl 54 a year ago. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs won their first title since January 1970 with a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, it is Raymond James Stadium and the Tampa Bay area’s turn to host a Big Game. Mahomes and the Chiefs return to Florida, where they’ll face Tom Brady and the hometown Buccaneers.

Kansas City defeated the Buccaneers, 27-24, at Raymond James Stadium on November 29. Mahomes threw three touchdowns, all to Tyreek Hill, in the victory.

This isn’t Tampa’s first time hosting a Super Bowl

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This year marks the fifth time that Tampa has hosted a Super Bowl, and the third instance at Raymond James Stadium.

In January 2001, star linebacker Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens routed the New York Giants, 34-7, at Super Bowl 35. The Big Game returned to Tampa eight years later, when Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers faced Kurt Warner and the Cardinals.

A back-and-forth affair ended when Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes in the final minute. Pittsburgh took a 27-23 lead and held on to win on Feb. 1, 2009.

The now-demolished Tampa Stadium hosted the Super Bowl in 1984 and 1991. Marcus Allen and the Raiders ran over the Redskins in a 38-9 victory in the first game.

Seven years later, Bill Parcells and the New York Giants upset the Buffalo Bills, 20-19, when Bills kicker Scott Norwood’s potential game-winning field goal famously went wide right.

Do the cannons at Raymond James Stadium actually work?

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Raymond James Stadium’s trademark pirate ship makes it one of the most unique locations in the modern NFL.

The unnamed ship, which stands 103 feet and weighs 43 tons, is located in the stadium’s north end zone. And yes, the ship’s cannons do fire.

According to The Athletic, the ship fires a single shot when the Buccaneers offense enters the red zone, three shots after a Tampa Bay field goal, and six shots for a Buccaneers touchdown.

However, those expecting busy cannons at Super Bowl 55 may be out of luck. The Buccaneers announced on Twitter that the cannons would only fire during player introductions.

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 [55].

The Buccaneers added that the team looks forward to “showcasing parts of our tradition” in a fashion that would adhere to the NFL’s rules.

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