Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
The Bucs had one of their first-ever road wins at old Metropolitan Stadium in 1978, and then got their first win in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1983, making the Vikings one of 13 NFL teams the Bucs have beaten in two different stadiums.
That covers all kinds of situations, well beyond just a new home for an NFL opponent. The Bucs beat the Saints in Baton Rouge when they were relocated by Katrina. They beat the Bears in Champaign when Soldier Field was being rebuilt. They beat the Panthers at Clemson when their new stadium was still being built. They beat the Colts in Baltimore and Indianapolis.
But if you stick around for 42 seasons, you get to play in a third generation of NFL stadiums. If the Bucs win Sunday, U.S. Bank Stadium will become the 42nd different stadium they've posted wins in during their 42 years. They've come a long way -- 17 years into their existence, they'd still only won in 13 different stadiums. There haven't been many new additions in the last 12 years or so, adding the Cardinals' new stadium in 2010, the Steelers' in 2014, and the 49ers last year.
The Bucs can continue to add to that list, of course, with their first trip to Atlanta's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium later this season. Playing in AFC stadiums only every eight years means there are some they've never won in -- they can get their first win in Buffalo this season, and potentially Tennessee and Jacksonville in 2019, and Houston in 2023. Next year, they'll have a shot at their first win at MetLife Stadium against the Giants; in 2019 they can add Los Angeles with the Rams, in 2020 they should go to Las Vegas, in 2021 they'll play at Gillette Stadium against the Patriots and in 2022 they get another shot at the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Win all those, and the number of stadiums they've checked off with wins could rise by 10 in six years.
It's a little tricky, in that stadiums change names much more often than teams change stadiums. Here's the full list of stadiums the Bucs have won regular-season games in (first year in parentheses), starting with Tampa Stadium and Raymond James Stadium.
Teams with home losses to Bucs in two stadiums:
Bears: Soldier Field (1979), Memorial Stadium (Champaign, 2002)
Bengals: Riverfront Stadium (1980), Paul Brown Stadium (2001)
Cardinals: Sun Devil Stadium (1989), University of Phoenix Stadium (2010)
Colts: Memorial Stadium (Baltimore, 1979), RCA Dome (Indianapolis, 1997)
Eagles: Veterans Stadium (1995), Lincoln Financial Field (2003)
49ers: Candlestick Park (1980), Levi's Stadium (2016)
Lions: Pontiac Silverdome (1979), Ford Field (2002)
Packers: Lambeau Field (1979), Milwaukee County Stadium (1980)
Panthers: Memorial Stadium (Clemson, 1995), Ericsson Stadium (2002)
Redskins: RFK Stadium (1993), FedEx Field (2002)
Saints: Superdome (1977), Tiger Stadium (2005, Katrina relocation)
Seahawks: Kingdome (1999), Qwest Field (2009)
Vikings: Metropolitan Stadium (1978), Metrodome (1983)
Teams that have lost at home to the Bucs in only stadium: Broncos, Browns, Chargers, Chiefs, Cowboys, Dolphins, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Steelers
Teams that haven't ever lost at home to the Bucs: Bills, Jaguars, Jets, Texans, Titans.