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Tampa Bay sports roundup

We rounded up the most important sports happenings in our area to keep you in the know.

Rendering of the USF stadium. The image is set at night with floodlights on.

Groundbreaking on USF’s new stadium is set for the fall of 2024.

Photo via USF

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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

Take me out to the bowl game.

The USF 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.

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

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.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have a new head coach — Robbie Neilson has moved across the pond to work in St. Pete ahead of the 2024 season. Until now, Neilson spent his entire professional playing + coaching career in Scotland and England.

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.

🏒 Hockey

Vasy is back.

If you missed it, Bolts star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has returned to the ice after missing thestart of the season due to an injury + 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.

The Lightning sit fifth in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division after a mixed season of results to this point.

⚾ Baseball

Baseball season is still months away, but the Tampa Bay Rays are already getting ready for 2024 and beyond.

The team’s ~$1.3 billion plan to build a new stadium is in motion — Rays officials recently chose Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous to lead the project.

The facility will be located in St. Pete’s Historic Gas Plan District, have a capacity of ~30,000, and officials hope it will open in time for the 2028 season.

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The list was compiled using metrics like weather, facilities, and costs.