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What’s the biggest event that hasn’t come to Tampa Bay you would like to see it host?

As we prepare for this weekend’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, what else can we look to host?
Mami's Marlins Park played host to the MLB All-Star Game in 2017. Could baseball's "Summer Classic" be the next big sports event to come to Tampa Bay? [TIMES]
Published Apr. 2
Updated Apr. 2

When it comes to big events, we’re big time. No one rolls out the red carpet like Tampa Bay when it comes to Super Bowls, College Football Playoff championships and this weekend’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, which will make a three-peat for Amalie Arena as host of that sport’s most visible event. However, there’s more to bring to town. What? We convene the Roundtable for answers.

It’s all good

Joey Knight, USF and colleges reporter @TBTimes_Bulls: Nothing. Now that we’ve snagged WrestleMania (arriving in 2020), we’ve collected what I deem all the desirable crown jewels (including the Super Bowl, Final Four, CFP title game, World Series, Stanley Cup finals). The only event of similar or greater magnitude would be the Olympics, and I don’t wish that massive logistical burden on my home region any time soon.

More CFP, please

Matt Baker, State colleges reporter @MattBakerTBTimes: I know, Tampa has already hosted the College Football Playoff national championship and probably will do so again, once the organization decides to start returning to old sites instead of spreading the wealth across the country. But I’m greedy. I’d like to see Tampa get into the semifinal rotation. The logistics here are better than regulars like Miami and Arizona, and I’d argue that college football interest is second only to the Bucs around town. So why not increase the ties to the CFP?

If Orlando hosted World Cup matches in 1994, couldn't Tampa Bay do the same in 2026? TIMES FILES

Tampa Bay needs to score a gooooaaaall!

Ernest Hooper, columnist/assistant sports editor @hoop4you: The list is almost complete except: World Cup Soccer. Raymond James would prove to be the perfect backdrop for a set of games when the planet’s most popular tournament returns to North America in 2026. Given that games will be split between Canada, the United States and Mexico, the competition will be fierce. But if Tampa Bay could earn a place on the international athletic stage, it would be, well, a kick in the grass.

Anybody have a real good lawn?

Martin Fennelly, columnist @mjfennelly: I know it’s a long shot, and there is the England thing, but why can’t Wimbledon have a rotation too? Saddlebrook would be up for it and my aunt makes really good strawberries and cream. My sister would make the costumes. Play. That or the AAC basketball tournament.

Feeling a draft?

Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer @NFLStroud: The NFL draft has become of the league’s signature events. It used to be held annually in NYC at Radio City Music Hall. But why not host it in downtown Tampa on the riverfront? There is nothing they will rally a community than watching 250 names being read during a three-day selectfest. And chances are the Bucs will be picking in the top 5. The draft and Tampa are perfect for one another. Have Bo Jackson, Steve Young and all the players who got away read the Bucs picks. Let’s get this done!

The place where the stars come out

Mike Sherman, sports editor, @mikesherman: The mid-summer classic’s arrival in Tampa Bay should be a package deal: The Rays get a new stadium, Tampa Bay gets the All-Star Game, but I’d like to propose a two-for-one. An All-Star Game for the Trop when/if a stadium deal is announced and another one within five years of the next stadium’s opening. How’s that for optimism?


  1. USF point guard LaQuincy Rideau (3) was named to the coaches preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team on Monday. JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Bulls point guard Laquincy Rideau is a first-team pick on the preseason all-conference squad
  2. USF defensive lineman Kelvin Pinkney (96) celebrates the stop against BYU during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Suddenly, bowl eligibility doesn’t seem so far-fetched for the Bulls.
  3. BYU quarterback Baylor Romney (16) is stopped on fourth down by the USF defense during the second half Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Journal: The school also announces $2.5 million in athletic department donations, a good chunk of which will go toward an indoor practice facility.
  4. The Bulls come back from a 13-point deficit to win 27-23.
  5. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite (2) dives over BYU defensive back Tavita Gagnier (34) for the first down during the second half of the game at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Martin Fennelly: The senior running back has his second straight big game to help lift the Bulls.
  6. USF tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against BYU during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls come back from a 13-point deficit to win 27-23.
  7. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson (1) wags his finger after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Jeff Thomas during the season opener. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Matt Baker: A running back duel at Clemson and why Jordan Cronkrite could be in for another big day for USF. Plus, Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7.
  8. BYU redshirt freshman Jaren Hall will become the first African-American to start a game at quarterback for the Cougars when they face USF on Saturday. JAREN WILKEY  |  BYU
    The freshman will become the first African-American to start a game at QB for the Cougars
  9. USF senior tight end Mitch Wilcox has 10 receptions (three of them for touchdowns) through five games. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The NFL draft prospect is coming off arguably his best game as a run blocker.
  10. USF defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary (center) said he doesn't expect BYU to modify its offense for new Cougars starting quarterback Jaren Hall. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Bell said the Bulls offensive line had its best day of the season at UConn