TAMPA — The championship hardware on display at Ballast Point Park on Friday morning really brought home what a banner year 2020 was for Tampa Bay’s professional sports teams.
The Stanley Cup, William Harridge Trophy, Vince Lombardi Trophy and USL Eastern Conference Championship trophy were the centerpieces of Champions Day, a joint proclamation from Tampa mayor Jane Castor, St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman and Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard.
“You don’t get moments like this,” Castor said. “We are definitely riding this high that was this sheer joy brought to us by the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rowdies, the Bucs and the Lightning.”
The last city that won both NHL and NFL championships in the same year was Detroit in 1952. No city has ever won the NHL, NFL and ALCS in the same season.
“It’s so special to the city and everything the city’s been through and the country’s been through for the past 14 months,” Lightning president/CEO Steve Griggs said. “For us to bring some joy throughout the year through sports and uniting everyone and cheering on their teams, it’s very special and I don’t think you’re ever going to see this again.”
Other team representatives on-hand included Rays president Brian Auld, Bucs chief operating officer Brian Ford and Rowdies president Lee Cohen.
Last year marked the second time the Stanley Cup called the Tampa Bay area home after the Lightning’s Cup run in 2003-04.
The Rays brought home the ALCS trophy for the second time, previously winning the AL pennant in 2008.
The Lombardi Trophy also made a repeat appearance after the Bucs’ win over the Chiefs in February, which followed a Super Bowl 37 victory in the 2002 season.
The Rowdies’ USL conference championship was their first.
“It’s been a special year for this (area),” Griggs said.
Up next on the Stanley Cup’s tour: Tallahassee to see Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday.
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