The Tampa Bay Sports Commission has been involved in hosting several big events since Rob Higgins became executive director. Some of the biggest:
Super Bowl XLIII, Feb. 2009: The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23, getting a touchdown grab from Santonio Holmes with just 35 seconds remaining. Kurt Warner had given Arizona the lead on a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald with 2:37 left, but Ben Roethlisberger gave Pittsburgh its sixth Lombardi Trophy.
2008 Women's Final Four: Tennessee won its eighth national championship — and last under legendary coach Pat Summitt — beating Stanford easily in the final behind All-American Candace Parker. The event returns to Tampa in 2015.
2012 NCAA Frozen Four: The event had never been held in the South, but more than 18,000 fans watched in the Tampa Bay Times Forum as Boston College beat Ferris State. The host school — closest with an NCAA Division I hockey program — was Alabama-Huntsville.
2008 NCAA men's basketball opening rounds: Best known for its amazing upsets, with four teams seeded 12th or lower all winning at the same site. Wild finishes, too — Western Kentucky hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left in overtime to upset Drake, and San Diego hit a shot with 1.2 seconds left in overtime to knock off UConn.
2007 ACC men's basketball tournament: Sellout crowds of 22,269 watched as North Carolina won the ACC crown on the way to an Elite 8 appearance. Tenth-seeded N.C. State knocked off the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, but lost in the final to the top-seeded Tar Heels.
2009 SEC men's basketball tournament: Mississippi State, 9-7 in conference in the regular season, won four games in four days, knocking off LSU in the semifinals and Tennessee in the final. With Florida and fan favorite Kentucky out of the tournament before the semifinals, the final drew an announced 10,093.