Tampa is represented by teams in four major professional sports. Three play in Tampa proper, while the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball play across the bay in St. Petersburg. All of the teams are considered to represent the entire Tampa Bay metropolitan area.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
became the area's first major franchise in 1976, and brought the area its first major sports championship at the end of the 2002 season, winning Super Bowl XXXVII.
Tampa Bay Lightning
were established in 1991, and currently play their games in the St. Pete Times Forum. The team won their first Stanley Cup championship at the end of the 2003-2004 NHL season.
Tampa Bay Rays
began play in 1998, and have yet to be a major contender - finishing last in the American League's East Division in seven of the eight seasons they have played.
Tampa Bay Storm
play in the lesser-known Arena Football League. Originally playing in Pittsburgh, the team moved to Tampa in 1991. The Storm won their first Arena Bowl championship in 1991, and have won four subsequent championships in 1993, 1995, 1996, and 2003. Since the relocation, the Storm have qualified for the playoffs every season. Since 1997, the team has played its home games in the St. Pete Times Forum, which is located in Tampa.
College sports teams include:
- The NCAA football
Raymond James Stadium
is held in Tampa each January.
have been held in Tampa; who will also be hosting the Superbowl in 2009