I just moved into an apartment in Tampa. Where are the best places to watch professional sports?

Photo of Bell Channelside ApartmentsBell Channelside is walkable to Amalie Arena, where the Tampa Bay Lightning play.

Welcome to the Tampa Bay area! If you're a sports fan, you have definitely moved to the right place. We have several professional sports teams you can see play live practically in your backyard, likely just minutes from your apartment (unless it's rush hour). You'll be feeling like a local in no time once you've caught some of these teams in action.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning 

Be the thunder and check out one of their games! Before I moved to the area, I wasn't much of a hockey fan, but the Lightning have definitely made me one. The team has historically been strong, so the games are filled with energy, as well as crackling "lightning" when they score. They play at Amalie Arena, which would be walkable if you live in any of the downtown Tampa apartments or the Channelside area. You can also always catch the TECO streetcar, which offers extended late night hours and is free to use.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In Tampa Bay, we embrace pirate culture (prime example: the Gasparilla Pirate Festival), and that extends to the Bucs, our NFL team. You'll see their flags waving proudly throughout Tampa Bay. They play at Raymond James Stadium, which is also known as "Ray Jay." This is conveniently located on Dale Mabry, conveniently located to many apartments in Tampa. Be sure to check the game schedule before trying to get last minute tickets, as the USF Bulls football team and many concerts are also hosted at the stadium.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays

Located on the other side of the I-275 bridge, the Rays make the trip to St. Petersburg worth it, especially because they just finished up a great season. Bonus: they play at Tropicana Field, also known as "The Trop," which is air conditioned (I cannot stress to you how amazing this is)! You can enjoy all nine innings, soaking in the excitement without sweating it out in the heat. Be sure to swing by Ferg's before you head back to your Tampa apartment - it's right next to the ballpark and is a must-visit.

Outside of these teams, which all play at the major league level, you can also catch games for the Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL), as well as four different minor league baseball teams. Coming in 2020, you'll also be able to check out the Tampa Bay Vipers (XFL).

If you already have your favorite team(s), there are plenty of sports bars where you can catch the action on TV. I'd recommend scoping out Yeoman's Cask and Lion, a British pub with a great location in the heart of downtown, or Hattrick's Tavern, which calls itself the best sports bar in the city for good reasons. You can also often find the game playing at many of the great breweries in the area, like Cigar City Brewing and Tampa Bay Brewing Company. No matter which Tampa apartments you live in, you're sure to find a great spot nearby to watch the game. I'm rooting for you!

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