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Sports Business Journal ranks Tampa in the top 15 cities for major events

an open air stadium with fireworks going off in the background at night with a giant screen and pirate ship set in the corner
Fireworks close out the night during WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium (2021)

Tampa just received a major accolade from the Sports Business Journal. In its annual roundup of the top sports business cities for event hosting, the editors ranked Tampa at 15.

Annual events in Tampa include college football’s ReliaQuest Bowl (since 1986) and the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (2018); and the Valspar Championship (2000). Other recent events include: 2017 College Football Championship Game; 2018 NHL All-Star Game; 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four; 2019 SheBelieves Cup; NFL Super Bowl LV; WrestleMania 37; 2022 U.S. Gymnastics Championships; 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Frozen Four and Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship; 2023 USA Field Hockey National Hockey Festival; 2023 and 2024 USA Flag Adult Flag Football World Championships; and January’s WWE Royal Rumble.

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exterior of a sports arena in a downtown area
Outside Amalie Arena in the heart of Tampa

The city of Tampa is growing as a host city for major events

According to SBJ, our city’s recent wins include 2023 and 2024 Youth Summit & Varsity All-Star Celebration (cheer); 2024 USL Academy Cup; 2024 IFBB Bodybuilding Championships; and 2025 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four and 2026 Men’s Basketball first and second rounds.

Tampa’s sports scene also includes the SouthShore Sportsplex spanning 85 acres. Boasting one of the largest continuous synthetic turf fields in the nation, this venue is a game-changer. And that’s not all – the Hillsborough County Tournament SportsPlex offers 15 fields, further solidifying Tampa’s reputation as a sports hub.

inside a packed basketball stadium with fans cheering
Photo via USF Athletics

World class venues for pro, amateur, and youth sports

These additions complement the already iconic venues in Tampa, including the renowned Amalie Arena and Raymond James Stadium. Both have a rich history of hosting major events, adding to the city’s allure as a premier destination for sports enthusiasts. With such top-notch facilities, Tampa continues to raise the bar for sports entertainment.

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The city’s 99 youth and amateur sporting events across 28 sports in 2022-23 generated more than 250,000 hotel room nights. Visit Tampa Bay reported in January that more than 26.7 million visitors came through the area in fiscal year 2023 and that Hillsborough County was on pace to easily surpass the previous year’s record tourist development tax collections of $62 million.

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