Best of Tampa Bay: The Ultimate Sports Weekend

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May 18, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Fans prepare to ascend the stairs to enter the venue before game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

May 18, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Fans prepare to ascend the stairs to enter the venue before game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With three major professional teams in the region and a variety of sporting events to take in, Tampa Bay is a great destination for sports enthusiasts looking to get their fill.

When most visitors come to Tampa Bay, they’re usually here for the weather, the great attractions, and the laid-back lifestyle. However, many tourists often overlook the fact that the area is home to three professional sports franchises, even though they might not be the best or most well-known.

The next time you’re in the Tampa Bay area you should make a sports weekend out of it and I’ll set up the perfect three or four days for you and your family and friends. From Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg across the bay, the sports fanatic inside will certainly come out when cheering on the local or visiting teams.

Sports fans in the Tampa Bay area often get a bad rap for not being very passionate or supporting the teams poorly, but that’s far from the truth. Most of the time, the people saying that either don’t live here or root for a team that is considered a rival to the teams in Tampa Bay. When attending a sporting event in the area, you’ll notice tons of passion from the fans, even if it’s only from a few supportive groups.

In addition, the teams here in Tampa Bay don’t benefit from as much media coverage or corporate sponsorships compared to those in larger markets. But, over the past decade or so, a couple of the teams have made deep playoff runs and even two appearances in their sports’ respective championship series, which has created a lot of buzz and fandom around the area as well as garnered some national attention.

As I continue, here are some essential things to know when planning your ultimate sports weekend in the Tampa Bay area. I’m certain that you and your party will have a great time.

First, if you’re going to visit Tampa Bay for a sporting event and are interested in watching all three teams plus some other sports, potentially, I recommend that you try coming in October because there is a slight chance you might be able to go to three different games, although this year it likely won’t happen.

However, if things were to line up, this is what I would suggest doing.

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