In addition to being a fabulous place to retire for reasons like great weather, no state income tax, and a reasonable cost of living, the Tampa area also boasts a passionate sports community that makes it a perfect destination for retiring sports fans. In fact, we think it might be the best option out there for anyone who loves watching spots.
With three professional teams of its own, quite a few more located nearby, and several competitive colleges and universities in the area, there is never a shortage of sporting events happening in and around the Tampa area. Let’s take a quick look at some of the options that die-hard sports enthusiasts will find in Tampa.
Three Local Pro Teams
The biggest sports teams in Tampa are always going to be the three professional teams that call The Big Guava home.
When it comes to sports, it doesn’t get any bigger than NFL football. Once famous for their hideous “creamsicle” jerseys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now known for the massive pirate ship that is docked in the end zone of Raymond James Stadium.
If hockey is your preference, then you will be pleased to know that the Tampa Bay Lightning make their home in nearby Amalie Arena, which is located right in downtown Tampa.
And just over the bridge in St. Petersburg is where you will find the Tampa Bay Rays playing their home games. This AL East team made a name for itself by being one of the first to utilize advanced analytics, and they are continuously innovating their approach to America’s pastime today.
Even More Options Nearby
In most cities across the country, covering the three professional sports teams would be all that there was to the story. But here in Tampa, we are just getting started. That’s because Tampa is actually located quite close to a number of other great sports franchises.
Looking for an NBA team to follow? The Orlando Magic are located right down the interstate, and the Miami Heat aren’t all that far away either.
Prefer AFC football? No problem. Just take a ride over to the east coast of Florida and you will find the Jacksonville Jaguars to the north and the Miami Dolphins down south.
Miami is also home to the Miami Marlins and the Florida Panthers, which makes it a great year-round option for a weekend sports getaway that may or may not include a few rounds of golf.
Don’t Forget the College Teams
As if all of those professional sports teams weren’t enough, Tampa is also located right in the middle of a number of the biggest sports universities in the country. Between Florida, Florida State, and Miami, there is always a big football game happening on a Saturday near Tampa.
In addition to those major universities, there are also some smaller schools in the area like UCF and USF that are forcing their way into the national spotlight with the way they have been competing in recent years.
Grapefruit League Spring Training
In most parts of the country, there is a lull in the action between the Super Bowl and the start of the new baseball season. But here in Florida, we are able to fill that void with trips to see all of our favorite baseball teams in their spring training homes.
In addition to being the spring home of the New York Yankees, Tampa is also a neighbor to communities that host the Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Toronto Blue Jays every February and March.
As you could imagine, there are a ton of retirement community options to choose from in and around the Tampa area.
Within easy driving distance from Tampa, the Villages of Citrus Hills is a Florida Retirement Community with single family homes and maintenance free villas that have been built with today’s demanding baby-boomer in mind. One of the best things about this community is its extraordinary collection of world-class community country club amenities and extensive social activities. They even arrange several group outings to see Tampa’s sports teams in action.
A second option to consider is Valencia Lakes, which offers a vacation-inspired lifestyle that caters to residents looking to socialize and stay physically active. The gorgeous waterfront clubhouse is perfect for active retired adults and offers an array of amenities including a fitness center, grand social hall, relaxing pools, tennis courts and an outdoor bistro. A full-time lifestyle director is onsite to organize a wide variety of clubs, fun events and opportunities for making new friends all year-round. Plus, this amazing community features a stunning selection of twin villas and single-family homes that provide the ultimate in carefree living.
Another community quickly becoming a popular choice among our readers is Del Webb Lakewood Ranch, a 55+ active adult community located in the master-planned community near Sarasota, which is also an easy drive to Tampa.
Enjoy resort-style amenities and activities including a state-of-the-art fitness center, resort pool with lap lanes, grand clubhouse with full-time Lifestyle Director, social clubs, and group outings.
Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch offers a collection of single-family homes and low-maintenance attached villas designed to fit your lifestyle. There are currently 10 home designs to choose from starting in the mid-$200k’s.
If renting is more your style but you still want the 55+ lifestyle, you might want to check out The Floridian Club of Sarasota, a unique community located about an hour south of Tampa, custom-tailored to the lifestyle of active adults seeking their next adventure.
The spacious, low-density community consists of single-story villas and multi-story bungalows designed for individuals ages 55 and better. With 2-10 year lease options, you are welcome to stay as long as you like and come and go as you please. Make it yours with decor and upgrades that suit your personal tastes.
Perhaps best of all, living at The Floridian Club of Sarasota includes maintenance both inside and outside of your home as well as a full-time on-site Activities Coordinator dedicated to making sure the social opportunities are abundant daily.
No matter what sport you are passionate about, there is a team to root for in or around the Tampa area. And even if you aren’t willing to switch sides and root for our teams, you can rest assured that yours will be in town for a game eventually.