Tampa Events Today, This Weekend

Tampa, FL events today, tomorrow, this weekend and few days after it are listed below. If interested to attend selected Tampa event, feel free to check for tickets.

Entertainment in Tampa, FL

Tampa is home to a variety of stage and performing arts venues and theaters, including the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa Theatre, Gorilla Theatre, and the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre next to the Florida State Fairgrounds. Performing arts companies and organizations which call Tampa home include the Florida Orchestra, Opera Tampa, Jobsite Theater, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Stageworks Theatre, Spanish Lyric Theater, Tampa Bay Opera, and the Tampa Bay Symphony.

Current popular nightlife districts include Channelside, Ybor City, SoHo, International Plaza and Bay Street, and Seminole Hard Rock. Downtown Tampa also contains some nightlife, and there are more clubs/bars to be found in other areas of the city. Tampa is rated sixth on Maxim magazine’s list of top party cities. The area has become a “de facto” headquarters of professional wrestling, with many pros living in the area. WWE’s former developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, was also based in Tampa.

Tampa is home to several death metal bands, an extreme form of heavy metal music that evolved from thrash metal. Many of the genre’s pioneers and foremost figures are based in and around the city. Chief among these are Deicide, Six Feet Under, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Death and Morbid Angel. The Tampa scene grew with the birth of Morrisound Recording, which established itself as an international recording destination for metal bands.

Christian metalcore band Underoath is based out of Tampa. In 2009, the new Frank Wildhorn musical Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure hosted its world premiere at the Straz Center.

Perhaps the most well known and anticipated events are those from Tampa’s annual celebration of “Gasparilla”, particularly the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a mock pirate invasion held since 1904 in late January or early February. Often referred to as Tampa’s “Mardi Gras”, the invasion flotilla led by the pirate ship, Jose Gasparilla, and subsequent parade draw over 400,000 attendees, contributing tens of millions of dollars to the city’s economy. Beyond the initial invasion, numerous Gasparilla festivities take place each year between January and March, including the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, the more adult-oriented Sant’Yago Knight Parade, the Gasparilla Distance Classic, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, and the Gasparilla International Film Festival, among other pirate themed events. The Gasparilla parade is the third largest parade in the United States.

Other notable events include the Outback Bowl, which is held New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium. Each February, The Florida State Fair brings crowds from across the state, while “Fiesta Day” celebrates Tampa’s Cuban, Spanish, German, Italian, English, Irish, Jewish, and African-Cuban immigrant heritage. The India International Film Festival (IIFF) of Tampa Bay also takes place in February. In April the MacDill Air Fest entertains as one of the largest military air shows in the U.S. Guavaween, a nighttime street celebration infuses Halloween with the Latin flavor of Ybor City. Downtown Tampa hosts the largest anime convention in Florida, Metrocon, a three-day event held in either June or July at the Tampa Convention Center. Ybor also hosts “GaYbor Days”, an annual street party in the LGBT-friendly GaYbor district. The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, held annually since 1989, is the city’s largest film festival event, and one of the largest independent gay film festivals in the country.

Sports in Tampa, FL

The Tampa Bay Area is home to many sports teams and has a substantial history of sporting activity. Most of the region’s professional sports franchises use the name “Tampa Bay”, which is the name of a body of water, not of any city. This is to emphasize that they represent the wider metropolitan area and not a particular municipality.

Three teams compete at the major league level. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play in the National Football League (NFL), the Tampa Bay Lightning play in the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Tampa Bay Rays play in Major League Baseball (MLB). Additionally, six MLB teams hold their spring training camps in the area.

A number of minor league franchises play in the region as well, including the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League, and four minor league baseball teams competing in the Class-A Florida State League. In intercollegiate sports, the University of South Florida Bulls compete in NCAA Division I, while Eckerd College, Saint Leo University and the University of Tampa compete in NCAA Division II.

Professional football first arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1964, when the American Football League staged an exhibition game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. Five years later, the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings faced off in a joint AFL-NFL preseason game prior to the 1969 season, the final one before the two leagues would merge.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL began play in old Tampa Stadium in 1976 as an expansion team. After losing an NFL-record 26 straight games to begin their existence, the Bucs reached the 1979 NFC Championship game only to sink back into futility with an NFL-record 14 straight losing seasons through the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play in newly renamed Tropicana Field in 1998. The franchise struggled through its first 10 years of existence, finishing last in the American League East Division in nine of those ten seasons. After (again) posting the worst record in baseball in 2007, however, the newly renamed “Rays” won 97 games in 2008, winning the AL East and the AL pennant to earn a berth in the 2008 World Series under manager Joe Maddon. Since 2008 inclusive, the Rays have won two AL East titles and have made 4 playoff appearances. Kevin Cash has been the Rays’ manager since 2015.

The area has had a long association with spring training baseball. The local tradition began in 1913, when the Chicago Cubs, lured by Tampa mayor D.B. McKay’s pledge to pay the team’s expenses, trained at Plant Field. St. Petersburg mayor Al Lang made a similar push, and in 1914, the St. Louis Browns became the first of many teams to train in St. Pete, being succeeded by the Philadelphia Phillies for 1915. The Phillies used a new facility called “Coffee Pot Bayou Park” along the city’s bayfront area. In the 1940s, a small modern ballpark was built on the site. It would be christened Al Lang Field in honor of the mayor who had brought baseball to St. Petersburg.

The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning were established as an expansion franchise in 1992. They began play in the Florida State Fairgrounds’ Expo Hall in Tampa, then moved across the bay to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (which was rechristened “The Thunderdome” at the time), and finally found a permanent home ice in the new Amalie Arena (originally known as the “Ice Palace”), located in the Channelside District of downtown Tampa. The “Bolts” won their first Stanley Cup championship at the end of the 2003–04 season, defeating the Calgary Flames in seven games. After a few losing seasons, the Lightning made it back to the Eastern Conference finals in 2011 under coach Guy Boucher. They have been coached by Jon Cooper since 2013.

The University of Tampa has the oldest collegiate sports program in the area, dating to 1933, when the school first fielded a football team. The “Tampa U” Spartans played at Plant Field for three seasons before moving to Phillips Field in 1936. They were the first team to call Tampa Stadium home when it opened in 1967. The Spartans moved up to play NCAA Division I football and produced several NFL stars, before dropping the sport entirely after the 1974 season due to budgetary concerns.

About Tampa, FL

Tampa is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. With a population of 392,890 in 2018, Tampa is the third-largest city in Florida, after Miami and Jacksonville. The bay’s port is the largest in the state, near downtown’s Channel District. Bayshore Boulevard runs along the bay, and is east of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.

Today, Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the “Tampa Bay Area”. For U.S. Census purposes, Tampa is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The four-county area is composed of roughly 3.1 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state, and the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Washington, D.C.; Miami; and Atlanta. The Greater Tampa Bay area, has over 4 million residents and generally includes the Tampa and Sarasota metro areas. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 392,890 in 2018. As of 2018, Tampa’s annual growth rate is 1.63%.

The Public Transportation in the area includes Amtrak’s Silver Star Line at Tampa Union Station. There is also the TECO Line Streetcar System.

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