Tampa Surges as Destination for Sports and Entertainment

NHL All-Star Weekend, Super Bowl, March Madness and more!


Tampa’s national reputation as an events titan is growing. Whether it’s the Super Bowl or the NHL All-Star game, the economic impact these events have on hosts cities is nearly incalculable. Hotels are booked solid, downtown restaurants/cafes/food trucks are bustling with returning and new customers.

Local and national media outlets are on hand shining a spotlight on the host city. It’s a tourism draw and a significant revenue bump for local businesses. This is why Tampa inexhaustibly perfects its showmanship for such occasions.

The success of the College Football Playoffs and all the activities surrounding the event cemented Tampa’s status as a premier destination for larger-than-life events. So, what do local sports fans have to look forward to in the coming months and years as a result?

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The Gold Cup 

The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the official national team championship of the region which will crown the best of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Games will be played at Raymond James Stadium beginning July 7.

Raymond James Stadium was one of fourteen venues selected across the country to host the games, which includes the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the Alamodome in San Antonio and the Sports Authority Field in Denver.

Click HERE for tickets to the doubleheader on July 7: Panama vs. Haiti/Nicaragua; USA vs. Martinique.

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NHL All-Star Weekend 

Even when they’re not on the ice, the Lightning are wracking up major wins. On May 29, the Lightning and the NHL officially announced that NHL All-Star weekend would take place in the city of Tampa at Amalie Arena.

The team last hosted the All-Star game in 1999. This mid-season showcase will take place on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 and will include the skills competition and the All-Star game.

The 2018 NHL All-Star returns to a 3-on-3 tournament format after successful games in Nashville (2016) and Los Angeles (2017). Under the tournament rules, the NHL All-Star Game will be divided into three 20-minute games, with star players from each NHL division making up the four All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan.

– NHL

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NCAA Women’s Final Four, Men’s Opening Rounds

In March, the NCAA delivers exhibitions in drama and athleticism on the hardwood during the men’s and women’s final four games. This past year, Mississippi State snapped UConn’s 111-game winning streak with a buzzer beater in OT to advance to the finals.

Fans can expect similar nail-biting action when the women’s final four returns to Tampa in 2019 at Amalie Arena.

Tampa was also chosen to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Residents and visitors alike will be able to catch the beginnings of hardwood Cinderella stories and bracket busters right in the heart of our city.

Games are set to take place March 19 and 21, 2020 at Amalie Arena.

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Super Bowl LV 

A delay in Los Angeles could bring the Super Bowl back to Tampa in 2021. Tampa last hosted the Super Bowl in 2009. The game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals remains one of the greatest in Super Bowl history.

Our city’s proven track record with major sports events makes Raymond James Stadium a safe bet for putting on a good show. On May 23, NFL owners voted unanimously to make Tampa the host of Super Bowl 55.

In 2015, the Super Bowl in Arizona had an economic impact of $719.4 million for the entire state, according to a study from Seidman Research Institute and School of Business at ASU. Super Bowl 50 produced an economic impact of over $800 million in San Francisco.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of ThatsSoTampa.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape.” He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. Phone: (727) 896-3435 / Email: andrew@rkc.me