Immediately upon purchasing the Buccaneers in 1995, new owner Malcolm Glazer declared that twenty-eight year old Tampa Stadium was inadequate to justify the record $192 million he paid for the NFL franchise and began lobbying local government for a replacement. A few months later, the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County unveiled plans for a $168 million stadium that was to be paid for with a rental car surtax along with fees on items relating to stadium events, such as ticket surcharges and parking fees. However, the Glazer family rejected the plan within hours because it would reduce their revenue, and when local and state government officials did not agree on an alternative taxpayer-financed plan quickly enough for their liking, they threatened to move the Buccaneers elsewhere and were soon meeting with officials from several other cities to explore possible relocation sites.
In early 1996, the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County proposed the establishment of a "Community Investment Tax", a 30-year half-cent sales tax increase that would pay for various public improvements along with a new stadium for the Bucs. The tax increase would have to be approved in a public referendum, which was scheduled for September. The "Community Investment Tax Stadium" (CITS) proposal was heavily promoted by the team along with several prominent local officials, and as part of intensive public relation campaign, Malcolm Glazer repeatedly promised to pay half the cost of the new stadium if fans put down 50,000 deposits on 10–year season ticket commitments priced at $190 to $2500 per seat. Former Tampa mayor Bill Poe sued to halt the referendum, as he claimed that the tax violated the Florida state constitution's ban on public support for private companies. Poe's objections were rejected, and plans for the vote were allowed to proceed.
Public opinion polls indicated that support for the CITS proposal was still limited as election day neared, with the main reasons being a "negative reaction" to the Glazers' tactics and unwillingness to raise taxes to "help" owners who "overpaid" for an NFL team. In response, stadium proponents launched a "media blitz" of television and radio advertisements emphasizing the tax's potential impact on local schools and roads in an attempt to persuade residents who did not want to pay for a football stadium to "hold their nose" and vote yes anyway. On September 3, 1996, the ballot measure passed by a margin of 53% to 47%. After the vote, the season ticket deposit drive fell 17,000 short of its 50,000 goal at the team-imposed deadline, the Buccaneers' offer to pay half of stadium construction costs was withdrawn, and the facility was designed and built entirely at public expense.
Before construction began on the stadium, the Buccaneers and the Tampa Sports Authority signed a lease in which local government paid the vast majority of operating and maintenance expenses while the franchise kept almost all of the proceeds from all events held there. Former Tampa mayor Bill Poe went back to court to challenge the legality of the lease, again citing the state's constitutional ban on using tax dollars to enrich a private business in claiming that the "sweetheart deal" should be voided. A local court ruled in Poe's favor, but upon appeal, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the lease was constitutional because the stadium provided a "public benefit", and construction continued as planned.
In 1998, a 13-year deal was agreed with Raymond James Financial, headquartered in St. Petersburg, for naming rights to the stadium. The deal was extended for 10 years in 2006 and again in 2016, and the deal is currently set to expire in 2031