While there are many professional sports teams to be loyal to in the United States, Tampa Bay has three that make living here a sports fan’s paradise. Not only does Tampa have a professional football, hockey, and baseball team, but the experience surrounding watching a game and being a fan in Tampa is like no other.
If the Tampa Bay teams are not your first choice, you may want to reconsider. Living in Tampa under blue skies and palm trees make Tampa the perfect destination to watch a sports game or participate in sporting events all year round. In this post we’ll give you some information on Tampa’s professional sports team and tell you why Tampa is the best location for sports fans.
Since acquiring Tom Brady, winning the Super Bowl in 2020, and then parting with Tom Brady as he retired, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seen a fair increase in media coverage and popularity. Since 2020, Tampa Bay and its residents have seemed to take more of an interest in the NFL team, and the city is filled with spirit during the football season.
Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Sick of Watching Football in the Cold?
As the population in Tampa continues to grow, the support for The Buccaneers continues to get stronger. No matter what day of the week The Buccaneers play, Raymond James Stadium and local establishments throughout Tampa Bay are filled with fans cheering on the team. But why is watching The Buccaneers play throughout the season much more enjoyable than watching any other team? Well, because you’re in Tampa Bay! Unlike many other fanbases, Tampa Bay Bucs fans can watch football through January without having to bundle up in a hat, scarf, and gloves. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the football season weather averages in Tampa Bay are as follows:
- September: 89° / 75°
- October: 85° / 69°
- November: 78° / 61°
- December: 75° / 58°
- January: 71° / 53°
There’s nothing like enjoying the excitement of football season in 75 degree weather in December, while football fans in other states are bundled up and freezing.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know how to throw a tailgate party that makes the experience exciting hours before the game even begins. The stadium hosts an exclusive Buccaneers Tailgate Party that provides not only an incredible pre-game celebration, but all inclusive beverages and classic football food like hot dogs and burgers. The tailgate costs $125 for the general public and $100 for season pass members and includes:
- Access to tailgate 3 hours prior to kickoff, located directly outside the stadium
- All-inclusive beverages including soda, water, beer, wine and premium brand spirits
- Food including grilled tailgate and fan favorites with a game themed specific menu that changes each game. Dessert and snacks included.
- Music, games and more!
In addition to this tailgate, there are multiple pop-up experiences like the Jr. Bucs Kids Zone and Bucs Beach that elevate The Buccaneers experience and give fans even more of a reason to attend a Bucs game. The kids attending the game can get some pre-game hype while the adults participate in tailgating activities. The free-of-charge Kids Zone offers inflatable football activities, football clinics, and visits from Captain Fear and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders.
Bucs Beach is a beach themed football paradise that encompasses the tropical oasis that Tampa is. There’s no better way to kickoff the day than hanging out by the sand on Bucs Beach where fans can enjoy live entertainment, indulge in a delicious drink from one of the tiki huts, and participate in activities like the quarterback football throwing challenge and inflatable obstacle courses.
Even if The Buccaneers aren’t your top pick, it’s hard to resist cheering on the local team under palm trees and blue skies. The spirit of Tampa during football season is only one of the many advantages of living in this lively city.
Another powerhouse in the world of sports is Tampa’s very own hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, “Bolts”. The Bolts gave Tampa Bay another reason to celebrate a championship after winning the Stanley Cup in 2 consecutive years, 2020 and 2021. In 2021, fans yet again took to the Tampa Riverwalk to celebrate the win with another boat parade, only five months following the Super Bowl boat parade. The third Tampa Bay boat parade in two years boosted morale amongst the Tampa Bay community, especially amongst the sports fans of the city.
Photo Courtesy of NHL.com
Game Day Experience
Although you won’t be cheering on the Lightning under palm trees and blue skies inside of the arena, Amalie arena is an impressive venue that makes attending a game exciting for all; including those just looking for a fun night out. Electricity powered “lightning” will strike in the sky of the arena, charging the energy of the crowd and enhancing the theatrical experience that you won’t get watching any other team.
Fans looking for a unique pre-game experience can participate in the behind-the-scenes Amalie Arena tour. For only $15 an enjoyable experience is guaranteed as you get a closer look at what happens “backstage” in the press box and more! The tour is held 3.5 hours before start time and will last a little over an hour, giving you enough time to grab a bite to eat and take some pictures before the game begins.
Now, if you prefer palm trees and blue skies over an ice rink, you can still participate in game-day activities and watch the Lightning play in Thunder Alley. Thunder Alley is a plaza located just outside of Amalie Arena where fans can come and enjoy the game-day experience without stepping foot in the arena. A $5 ticket will give you entry to Thunder Alley’s viewing parties where you can enjoy live music, giveaways, and an all around exciting atmosphere. Thunder Alley is an excellent alternative to purchasing potentially expensive tickets to the game, while still getting the true Tampa Bay Lightning Experience and enjoying the year-round warm weather.
Electric Food and Beverage Options
For some, the food and drinks are one of the most essential aspects of properly participating in a sporting event. The electric dining options within Amalie Arena, including Ford’s Garage, Wicked Oak Barbecue, Mr.Empanada, and more, are sure to satisfy your game-day hunger and give you enough energy to cheer on the team.
Fans can visit the Corona Cantina, located outside of the stadium, for a pre-game drink with a lively atmosphere to get the experience started off on the right foot. The Budweiser Biergarten hosts a pre-game tailgate party with an all-inclusive buffet and bar, paired with incredible views of the city sky-line. The arena also boasts a wide variety of beverage stations, including bars located in 16 different sections and portable beverage vendors located throughout the arena.
With all Amalie Arena has to offer, and the potential for more boat parades to come, how could you pass up the opportunity to live in, or at least visit, Tampa Bay and root for the Lightning?
They say good things come in threes, and that’s true in this case, as the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team makes for three high-performing professional sports teams right here in Tampa Bay. The Rays made it to the world series in 2020, and according to Sports Illustrated, some baseball fanatics believe the team has a chance of winning it all this year.
Photo Courtesy of MLB.com
Although a highly controversial baseball stadium, Tropicana Field is the Rays’ home field located in St. Petersburg. The last-standing non-retractable domed stadium in the MLB is highly criticized amongst the baseball community, however it does have its perks. The baseball season takes place over the course of some of the hottest months in Tampa. When temperatures reach the upper 90’s over the summer, watching a baseball game in the sweltering heat is not only uncomfortable, but can be dangerous for fans and players alike. The covered, air-conditioned stadium allows fans to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in a cool, comfortable, controlled climate.
Aside from the air conditioning, Tropicana Field has a unique immersive experience you won’t find at any other baseball stadium. The Rays Touch Experience features a 35 foot tank filled with stingrays, the team’s mascot, for visitors to learn about and interact with first-hand. The stingrays are well taken care of, including a healthy diet, routine medical exams, and behavioral observation.
Game Day Experience
Attending a Rays game is enjoyable, even for those that aren’t the biggest baseball fans. The Rays host their very own pre-game party in the stadium. Ballpark and Rec is a two-story indoor/outdoor space where fans can hang out and even play some games. In the turfed yard area, you’ll find cornhole and life size pong where you can play a friendly, or competitive, game with other Rays fans.
Those looking to relax with a beverage can hang out inside in the air conditioning where you’ll find a bar and plenty of TVs to watch the game. Ballpark and Rec makes going to a baseball game more exciting and caters to people of all ages.
$10 and Theme Tickets
If you’re looking to have fun on a budget, the Rays offer $10 tickets for every regular season home day. $10 tickets will get you a seat in the Rays Party Deck or even an area of the Lower Level. You can get tickets for up to 6 people per household at the $10 price. How can you beat that?
The Rays also sell Theme Tickets where the game is dedicated to a certain theme. You can purchase a theme ticket that will come with a special package, themed merchandise, and game day celebrations. Some theme days include Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration, First Responders Day, University of Tampa Day, Dog Day, Yoga Day, and Batman Day. Each theme has something different; for example, fans could bring their dogs on Dog Day and a special yoga class is hosted on the field on Yoga Day.
The Tampa Bay Rays take pride in making sure their fans are having a good time not only watching the game, but making a whole experience of the day. The Tampa Bay Rays encourage the Tampa Bay community to come together and enjoy America’s favorite pastime!
Is Tampa the Best City For Sports Fans?
We think Tampa is the best place to live if you’re a sports fan; whether you’re a die hard fan, or just want to have fun. With three elite professional teams like the Bucs, Lightning, and the Rays there is always a sporting event to attend or a team to cheer on. Tampa residents are proud of their home teams and make every sporting event a celebration. If you’re a sports fan looking to live in warm weather and cheer on some of the best teams in the nation, then Tampa Bay is the destination for you.