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Your guide to sports in Tampa Bay

From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Tampa Tarpons, we’re sharing all the details of TBAY’s sports teams.

Baker Mayfield throws a football in front of a huge Bucs flag. He's wearing a Bucs helmet, orange top, and is throwing to our left off-screen.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield is returning for the 2024 season.

Photo by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Table of Contents

There’s a reason they call us Champa Bay. Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in Buccaneers red — when it comes to sports, Tampa Bay has no shortage of teams to root on. Our area is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about TBAY sports, so whether you’re already a devoted Cigar City sports fan or new to the area, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

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Have you ever been to a Buccaneers game outside of Tampa? Let us know.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

🏈 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) | Est. 1974

Fire the cannons. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers compete in the NFC South division of the NFL. They boast a record of two Super Bowl championships and remain one of the select few teams with a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances. The Bucs are currently led by head coach Todd Bowles.

Where they play: Raymond James Stadium

  • Max. capacity: 75,000
  • The stadium has also hosted musical acts like Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Sting, Kenny Chesney, U2, and Billy Joel.

Mascot: Captain Fear and Bucco Bruce

  • The two pirates were introduced in 2000 and 1976, respectively.
  • Captain Fear’s ship is docked in the Buccaneer Cove at Ray Jay.

Team colors: Buccaneer red, pewter, Bay orange, and black

Major accomplishments:

  • Won first Super Bowl in 2003
  • In 2021, the Bucs became the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
  • The most points Tampa Bay has scored during a playoff game was 48 against the Oakland Raiders (who have since moved to Las Vegas) in 2003.
  • Have won two Super Bowls, two conference championships, and nine division championships.

📅 Sneak a peek at the team’s upcoming season.

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You can score $10 Rays tickets this season

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

⚾️ Tampa Bay Rays (MLB) | Est. 1998

Rays up. Our hometown baseball team was originally named the Devil Rays but was renamed the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. Fun fact: They’ve made it to the World Series twice, in 2008 and 2020.

Where they play: Tropicana Field

  • Max. capacity: 43,000
  • The Tampa Bay Rays’ lease on their current ballpark is set to end in 2027, prompting new stadium plans. It could become official soon: A final vote is slated for Thursday, July 18.

Mascots: Raymond, DJ Kitty, and Stinger

  • Raymond the “SeaDog” has been around since 1998, but DJ Kitty and Stinger the Stingray arrived in 2013.

Team colors: Navy blue, light blue, white, black, and purple

Major accomplishments:

  • The Rays tied the modern era record for the best start to a season with 13 straight wins in 2023.
  • The team made the playoffs four years in a row.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

Editor’s note: Three other teams spend spring training in the Tampa Bay area: the Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin); the Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater); and the New York Yankees (Tampa).

A group of Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrates a goal by the glass. They are dressed in their blue uniforms and are hugging each other while the crowd celebrates behind.

Let’s hope for plenty of scenes like this next season.

Photo via the Tampa Bay Lightning

🏒 Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) | Est. 1992

The Tampa Bay Lightning have had great success in recent years thanks in part to their star players. That includes Nikita Kucherov, who enjoyed a historic 2023-24 NHL season, and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, whose octopoid antics have saved many a Bolts fan’s night.

Where they play: Amalie Arena

  • Max. capacity: 21,500
  • It has also hosted musical acts from Coldplay and Carrie Underwood to Carole King and Barry Manilow.
  • Fun fact: Amalie Arena was originally named “The Ice Palace.”

Mascot: ThunderBug

  • When the team’s off the ice, ThunderBug helps out at various hockey camps.

Team colors: Blue and white

  • The team is often referred to as the “Bolts” due to the lightning bolt logo.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • The team has won three Stanley Cups — in 2004, 2020, 2021.
  • The Bolts have made the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons.
  • They played their first game on October 7, 1992, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3.
  • The Lightning are the first (and currently only) team to have a woman play for them. Goalie Manon Rheaume made history in September 1992, playing in a preseason game and stopping seven of nine shots in one period.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

Leaders clap onstage at the Tampa Bay Sun FC release party celebration.

Tampa’s leadership celebrated at the logo and name release party late last year.

⚽️ Tampa Bay Sun Football Club (USL Super League) | Est. 2024

The Tampa Bay area’s first-ever professional women’s soccer team is set to start its inaugural campaign later this year. The Sun are one of eight teams in the league and will kick off the season with a match agains Dallas Trinity FC on Sunday, August 18.

Where they play: Blake High School’s Riverfront Stadium

  • Max. capacity: ~5,000
  • The team is spending $6 million on renovating the downtown Tampa stadium, increasing its capacity up from 1,800, laying new FIFA-approved turf, upgrading the locker rooms, and ensuring a professional fan experience.

Mascot: N/A

  • The Sun don’t have a mascot yet. Keep your eyes on their Instagram to make sure you don’t miss the announcement.

Team colors: Dark blue, yellow

Major accomplishments:

  • Never lost a game.
  • Never had a losing record.
  • Never conceded a goal.
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Yard of Ale in Downtown St. Pete is the unofficial Rowdies Den hangout.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

⚽️ Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) | Est. 2008

The Rowdies may have one of the most scenic backdrops in all of sports: the St. Petersburg waterfront. The team is one of many soccer teams to have called TBAY home. Scotland’s Robbie Neilson was appointed head coach in 2023 — his first coaching job this side of the pond.

Where they play: Al Lang Stadium

  • Max. capacity: 7,227
  • Fun fact: Al Lang was exclusively used as a baseball stadium for over 60 years.

Mascot: Pinnie and Pete

  • Pete the Pelican was born on March 25, 2015, and Pinnie the Pelican was born on July 27, 2016 (727 Day).

Team colors: Green, yellow, and white

  • The color scheme comes from the Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS), a local soccer team that played from 1996 to 2001.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

📅 See the team’s schedule.

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Minor League Baseball = major league fun

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

⚾️ Tampa Tarpons (MiLB) | Est. 1994

The Tampa Tarpons are the Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees — in fact, the team was previously named the Tampa Yankees. Before that, there was another local baseball team called the Tarpons until 1989.

Where they play: George M. Steinbrenner Field

  • Max. capacity: 11,026
  • Also the Yankees’ spring training home
  • The stadium has the exact same dimensions as Yankee Stadium.

Mascot: Blue

  • Despite the name, this monster has red hair and a big red baseball on its belly.

Team colors: Navy blue, silver, Gulf blue, and white

Major accomplishments:

  • Notable former players include Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
  • In 2022, Rachel Balkovec became the team’s manager — making her the first woman to manage a minor league baseball team.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

City Guides are sponsored by Water Street Tampa.

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