Spectator Sports in Tampa Bay

March 16, 2011
Tampa Bay Rays
by InspectedbyNo27

Professional sports teams in Tampa Bay area fall in one of four categories: Major League Baseball, National Football League – commonly referred to as the NFL, Arena Football League and the National Hockey League – commonly known as the NHL. At the Collegiate level, sports teams are dominated by the University of Tampa’s Tampa U. Spartans and the University of South Florida’s USF Bulls.

Professional Sports Teams

The Tampa Bay Rays is the sports team that plays professional baseball in Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay Area. Games are held at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. This division of Major League Baseball is made up of the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs or commonly known as American League. The Rays won the American League Pennant in 2008. This win followed a change in the name of the team from Tampa Bay Devil Rays to Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or Bucs for short, play football professionally in the National Football League or NFL that’s part of the National Football Conference. The Raymond James Stadium hosts the NFL home games. The Bucs won the Super Bowl XXXVII in the tail end of the 2002 football season. In 2006, Matt Bryant scored a 62 yard field goal that clinched the game against the Eagles. This amazing feat is second only to the 63 yard NFL record for a field goal.

The Arena Football League or AFL is the cornerstone of the Tampa Bay Storm team that plays their games in the St Pete Times Forum. Arena football is a type of gridiron football that’s played on a smaller field in an indoor stadium. This form of football contrasts with traditional football that’s played outdoors and is usually slower than arena football. The Storm is a founding member of the AFL and has already won five ArenaBowl championships since their inception in 1987.

The Tampa Bay Lightning is the professional ice hockey team that plays in the National Hockey League (NHL). They belong to the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the NHL. Their home games are held at St Pete Times Forum and they’re often known as the Bolts. Founded in 1992, the Tampa Bay Lightning has won 2 Division championships in 2003 – 2004 and the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Collegiate Sports Teams

College football is actively played by the University of South Florida Bulls Football team which plays its games at the Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls Football team competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) league, and the team is part of the Big East Conference encompassing sixteen universities in the Eastern part of the US. They commenced play in 1997 and their current games are aired lived on the radio in the Tampa Bay area. You can also catch the games on the ESPN network.

Tampa U. Spartans, the collegiate team from the University of Tampa, began competing at the collegiate level in 1993. They have risen to become a force to contend with in the Sunshine State Conference, at Division II of the NCAA. The Spartans have won numerous titles in the NCAA Division II league including baseball in 2006 and 2007 and women’s soccer in 2007. Tampa Stadium plays host to the team’s games.

Both professional and collegiate sports teams abound in the area. From basketball to baseball, you’re sure to find the team that plays your favorite game from the long list of professional clubs and the two main University clubs. Book your tickets to a game at the local stadiums next time you’re in the Tampa area and get in on the action in the field!

Tampa-attractions.com covers a variety of information about the Tampa Bay area such as attractions, Channelside Tampa and Tampa airport transportation.

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