Plus, World's Largest Toy Drive comes to Tampa.
December 6, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

74º | Sunny | 0% chance of rain | Sunrise: 7:22 a.m. | Sunset: 5:49 p.m. | Tides | Old Tampa Bay | High: 11:16 a.m. + 10:01 p.m. | Low: 2:58 p.m. | Clearwater Beach | High: 6:59 a.m. + 6:21 p.m. | Low: 12:16 p.m.

🐂 Take me out to the bowl game
Rendering of the USF stadium. The image is set at night with floodlights on.
Groundbreaking on USF’s new stadium is set for fall 2024. | Photo via USF
We get it — it can be hard to keep up with all the sports happenings in the Tampa Bay area. That’s where we come in.

Whether you’re a fan of the Bolts, Bucs, Bulls, Rays, Rowdies, or Sun, we’ve got you covered with the latest need-to-knows.

🏈 Football

USF just released renderings for the new on-campus stadium. It is expected to open in 2027 and will cost ~$340 million.

In other USF football news, the Bulls recently became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018. USF will play Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 21, with kick-off at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for those making the trip down to Palm Beach County — or you can catch the game on ESPN.

The Buccaneers are 5-7 this season, but they can still make the playoffs because of the current NFC South standings. With five games to go in the regular season, predictive stats have the Bucs’ chances of getting a playoff berth somewhere around 26-30%.

⚽ Soccer

Tampa Bay’s incoming women’s professional soccer team now has a home, a name, merch, and tickets. Tampa Bay Sun Football Club makes its debut in August, 2024, as part of the USL Super League.

The Sun will play home games at Howard W. Blake High School’s stadium along the Hillsborough River — the club will spend over $4 million renovating the stadium. Show your pride with some merch, or put a $24 deposit down on season tickets.

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

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


Photo via Tampa Bay Sun FC

🏒 Hockey

Vasy is back.

If you missed it, Bolts star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has returned to the ice after missing the start of the season due to back surgery.

Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman just joined an exclusive club, playing his 1,000th NHL game in a 4-0 shutout of the Dallas Stars at Amalie Arena.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
  • Sunset Yoga at St. Pete Pier | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 6 p.m. | Spa Beach Park, 600 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg | Free | The Body Electric Yoga Company leads a practice for all skill levels — register to score 10% off your bill at the Pier’s Driftwood Cafe.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 7 p.m. | Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr., Tampa | $35+ | Cheer on the Bolts as they look for back-to-back home wins.
  • A Conversation with Samuel G. Freedman | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 7-8 p.m. | Tombolo Books, 2153 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg | Free with RSVP | Listen to the renowned journalist discuss his new book, “Into the Bright Sunshine,” which explores the early political career of Hubert Humphrey.
  • An Italian Christmas Night: Andrea Del Principe | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 7:30 p.m. | Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg | $40+ | Listen to Italian holiday classics in this tribute to legendary vocalists, including Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli.
Thursday, Dec. 7
  • The Holiday Promenade | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 5-9 p.m. | Water Street Tampa, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa | Free | Shop goods from local vendors + enjoy seasonal activities and performances while taking in the neighborhood’s holiday décor.
  • Chanukah in the City | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 5:30 p.m. | South Straub Park, 250 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg | Free | Head to the waterfront park for a menorah lighting, aerialist performance, Chanukah gelt drop, latkes and donuts, and raffles.
  • University of Tampa Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Show | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | Falk Theatre, 428 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa | Free | Get in the holiday spirit with live orchestral music, singing, and dancing.
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News Notes
  • The World’s Largest Toy Drive arrives in Tampa on Friday, Dec. 8. Stop by SheltAir (4751 Jim Walter Blvd.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to drop off toys for kids in time for the holidays, or mail your donations to the same location. (That’s So Tampa)
  • Ybor City is preparing for the fifth annual Jingle Bell Bazaar. The free Sunday, Dec. 10 event at 800 E. Eighth Ave. runs 12-6 p.m. + features a host of local vendors, food + drink, live music, and plenty of holiday cheer. (That’s So Tampa)
Real Estate
  • A hotel near Busch Gardens sold for just over $14.3 million. Records show Miami-based IRAS Group purchased the 144-room Hilton Garden Inn Tampa North at 13305 Tampa Oaks Blvd. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
  • No. 8. That’s where St. Pete ranked among the best US cities to buy your starter home, according to This Old House. Findings were reached using metrics like mortgage costs, home ownership age, number of restaurants, crime rates, and entertainment options. (WFLA)
  • A new power plant is coming to MacDill Air Force Base. A groundbreaking ceremony took place yesterday morning for the facility which will boost Tampa’s electricity efficiency + provide the base its own electricity access for emergencies. (WTSP)
Try This
  • A holiday-themed mini golf course is coming to the St. Pete Pier. “Putt The Pier: Holiday Edition” is open Friday, Dec. 15-Tuesday, Jan. 2 and costs $12 per person. Get your tickets. (I Love the Burg)
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🎥 The big screen in the great outdoors
Children are at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon. There is fake snow falling and holiday lights are twinkling in the background.
The most wonderful time of the year. | Photo by Tampa Downtown Partnership
Dust off the ugly sweaters and grab a blanket — it’s time to catch a festive movie outside. Here are five movies showing under the stars in the Tampa Bay area this December:
The Buy
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The Wrap
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From the editor
Looking for something wintry for the family to do? Or maybe a date night idea? Then Snowcat Ridge might be for you — Florida’s only snow park. Check it out.
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