City of Champions

The Tampa Bay Area is home to many sports teams and has a substantial history of sporting activity.

Three championship-caliber teams compete at the professional level. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in the National Football League (NFL), the Tampa Bay Lightning play in the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Tampa Bay Rays play in Major League Baseball (MLB). Additionally, six MLB teams hold their spring training camps in the area.

A number of minor league franchises play in the region as well, including the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL, Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League, and four minor league baseball teams competing in the Class-A Florida State League.

In intercollegiate sports, the University of South Florida Bulls competes in NCAA Division I, while Eckerd College, Saint Leo University and the University of Tampa compete in NCAA Division II.

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Professional Sporting Teams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Rays


Valspar Championship, Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course


Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay Vipers

Spring Training and Minor League Affiliates

Many major league teams train in Tampa Bay. Members of the spring training Grapefruit League include:

The Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota
The New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa
The Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field in Clearwater
The Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton
The Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin
The Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland
The area also hosts five minor league baseball teams, all in the Class Single-A Florida State League. These teams all use stadiums also used by MLB teams for spring training. These teams are:

The Clearwater Threshers (Phillies): Spectrum Field in Clearwater
The Dunedin Blue Jays: TD Ballpark in Dunedin
The Bradenton Marauders (Pirates): McKechnie Field in Bradenton
The Tampa Tarpons (Yankees): George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa
The Lakeland Flying Tigers: Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland

Collegiate Athletics

The USF Bulls play in NCAA Division I athletics in the American Athletic Conference.
The Tampa Spartans compete as members of the Sunshine State Conference for all 20 varsity sports. 
Saint Leo compete as a member of the Sunshine State Conference.
Eckerd College is a charter member of the Sunshine State Conference.

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Super Bowls, NCAA Championships, and other Major Events

Tampa has hosted five Super Bowls.
The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship was held at Raymond James Stadium.
The NCAA football Division I FBS Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium is held in Tampa each January, usually on New Year's Day
The NCAA football Division I FBS Gasparilla Bowl is also held at Raymond James Stadium, typically in December.
The NCAA football East-West Shrine Game has been held annually at Tropicana Field since 2012.
The Tampa Bay Derby (Grade II) thoroughbred horse race is held annually in mid-March at Tampa Bay Downs near Oldsmar
The IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is held on a course encompassing Albert Whitted Airport and the Bayfront area in St. Petersburg.
The 1999 NHL All-Star Game was held in Tampa at Amalie Arena when it was known as the Ice Palace. It was held a second time in 2018.
The 2008 and 2009 ACC Championship Games for football were held at Raymond James Stadium.