Undercover officers in the stands at Tampa Bay Bucs games

8:01 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -  For the first time in a long time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team is going to be kicking off in front of a home crowd on Sunday afternoon against the New Orleans Saints... and the game's not blacked out. What is being blacked out, however, is bad behavior from unruly fans.

In the first pre-season home game alone, unruly fans had to be thrown out. One example was 19-year-old Madison D'Ambra. Tampa Police says she was so intoxicated that she went to the bathroom while sitting at her seat in the stands. She was ejected, but police say she came back to the game and was arrested for causing a disturbance and trespassing.

On another occasion, Presley Sites was arrested during a game last year, when officers say he jumped out on the field right in front of them. 

But now we're learning the Bucs are pulling a quarterback sneak and doing what some other NFL teams are also doing. They're putting undercover police officers throughout the stands to maintain the peace.

Shorty Robbins is new to Tampa. She loves the idea, because in Jacksonville when she cheered on the Jaguars, there was a "family fun zone." Robbins wants to be able to take her 9-year-old granddaughter Aurora to Bucs games. 

Robbins says, "It just makes everyone around, somebody uncomfortable when they're acting like that and we're all there to enjoy the game... and it's nice to do that in comfort and not be embarrassed about what's going on around you."

Bobby Silvest is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Tampa Sports Authority, which runs Raymond James Stadium. He says, "We work with our law enforcement agencies to ensure the safest environment and best experience that they can have at Raymond James Stadium. Some of these measures do involve undercover officers both inside and outside the stadium at all the events."

David Ramirez says he's been a die-hard Bucs fan since the 1970's and he also loves the idea that there are undercover officers are inside the stadium. 

"I want to go to a game and have a good time with my son. Bottom line is I don't want no problems. No issues. So for them to step up and do something like that to make it a better experience for us - I support it."

The security measures aren't just for Buccaneers games either, but for all the events held inside the stadium, like University of South Florida football games.

Fans who witness unruly behavior are encouraged to send a text to 813-277-6501 with the location of where the incident is taking place. That number rings to the security command center. 

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