ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - The Buccaneers traded footballs for beach balls on Saturday, as fans traveled from near and far for the inaugural Bucs Beach Bash.
"We're giving away Super Bowl tickets to fans," said Buccaneers team reporter Casey Phillips. "They're going to get a chance to meet alumni and cheerleaders. There's endless stuff happening today."
The Beach Bash is a new multi-year partnership with Tradewinds Islands Resort, who let the party happen in their backyard.
"We have a five year agreement with the Bucs, so the plan is to do this every year here at Tradewinds Resort in St. Pete Beach," said Tradewinds Marketing Vice-President Travis Johnson.
Buccaneers fans who don't live close to Raymond James stadium appreciated their favorite team throwing a party close to home.
"They always do things over at Ray Jay in the parking lot or somewhere in Tampa," said Ryan Schranek, who lives about 15 minutes away from the beach with his family. "I don't have the time or the availability to drive over to Tampa, so when I heard about this I jumped on it."
As the team celebrates 100 years of the NFL with their special fan events, they want to make sure everyone feels included.
"We're the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not just the Tampa Buccaneers," Phillips explained. "So that includes St. Pete. We even have offices in Orlando and Sarasota. We view the entire area around here as the home field advantage."
Crowds stayed steady through the day but grew bigger as night fell, closer to the time that country music stars Parmalee and Billy Ray Cyrus took the main stage.
"You only turn 100 once, and when you turn 100 you have to 'turn up' and that's what we're doing," Phillips said.