Let there be no doubt of this: Kenny Chesney loves him some Tampa.
For the third straight year, Chesney will kick off his annual summer stadium tour at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and he'll be joined by one of the country music industry's hottest acts: Eric Church. The show is March 16, which is the Saturday of St. Patrick's Day weekend, so this will definitely be a tailgate to remember. Eli Young Band and Kacey Musgraves are also on the bill for this, Chesney's only show in Florida. Ticket prices haven't been announced, but they'll go onsale Dec. 7.
Chesney's stadium shows are always a spectacle. In July, he and Tim McGraw drew more than 48,000 people to RayJay; in 2011, he and the Zac Brown Band drew more than 50,000. Nashville outsider Church may already be at that level -— he's already headlining arenas on his own, and his Springsteen is one of the biggest country hits of the year.
Worth noting: Chesney announced 17 shows in all, and several cities will feature the Zac Brown Band — but Tampa isn't one of them. Does that mean ZBB is plotting a spring or summer headlining tour of its own, with a possible stop in Tampa? We'll keep an eye out.
Perhaps more importantly, though, this raises an important question: How often are Kenny Chesney and Lady Gaga, who plays the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 13, in the same city in the same week?