Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning, Bucs, Rays, Rowdies celebrate Champions Day in Tampa Bay

All four professional sports teams boast championship trophies from the past year.
From left: Rays president Brian Auld holding the William Harridge Trophy, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Lightning president/CEO Steve Griggs with the Stanley Cup, Tampa mayor Jane Castor, Buccaneers COO Brian Ford with the Lombardi Trophy, Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard and Rowdies president Lee Cohen with the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy.
From left: Rays president Brian Auld holding the William Harridge Trophy, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Lightning president/CEO Steve Griggs with the Stanley Cup, Tampa mayor Jane Castor, Buccaneers COO Brian Ford with the Lombardi Trophy, Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard and Rowdies president Lee Cohen with the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Apr. 23
Updated Apr. 23

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.

Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard, Tampa mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman after reading a proclamation with trophies accumulated by Tampa Bay sports teams in their 2020 seasons.
Clearwater mayor Frank Hibbard, Tampa mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman after reading a proclamation with trophies accumulated by Tampa Bay sports teams in their 2020 seasons. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

“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.

From left is the William Harridge Trophy, won by the Rays; the Stanley Cup, won by the Lightning; the Lombardi Trophy, won by the Bucs; and the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy, won by the Rowdies.
From left is the William Harridge Trophy, won by the Rays; the Stanley Cup, won by the Lightning; the Lombardi Trophy, won by the Bucs; and the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy, won by the Rowdies. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

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.

• • •

Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.