Tampa Sports Authority Timeline

May 28, 1965 - Governor Hayden Burns signs bill creating the Tampa Sports Authority.

October 1, 1965 - Tampa Sports Authority takes over Al Lopez Field baseball facilities and surrounding acreage from Columbus Drive to Buffalo Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway and Himes Avenue.

October 18, 1966 - Tampa Sports Authority takes delivery of check for $4,449,413.89 and orders stadium construction to begin on November 8, 1967 set as completion date.

November 4, 1967 - First game at Tampa Stadium. The University of Tennessee defeated the University of Tampa 0-38.

August 10, 1968 - First professional football game at Tampa Stadium. The Atlanta Falcons played the Washington Redskins in front of 40,915 people. The Redskins defeated the Falcons 16-14.

April 26, 1975 - The first Rowdies game was held. The Rowdies played Rochester in front of 10,500 people and won 1-0.

August 21, 1976 - The first Tampa Bay Buccaneers game was played. The Bucs played Miami in front of a crowd of 67,466 people; Miami won 28-21.

March 6, 1983 - The first Bandits game was played against Boston; the Bandits won 21-17.

July 15, 1984 - USFL Championship held at Tampa Stadium; Philadelphia defeated Arizona 23 - 3.

December 23, 1986 - First Hall of Fame Bowl. Boston College beat Georgia 27-24.

September 19, 1988 - Tampa Sports Authority announces the New York Yankees will begin spring and winter training at the Tampa Sports Authority Complex located at the corner of Himes Avenue and Columbus Drive.

April 27, 1990 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign lease agreement with Tampa Sports Authority through year 2000.

September 1993 - Tampa Sports Authority introduces plans for the future which includes: the now Amalie Arena  for the Tampa Bay Lightining, spring training home for the New York Yankees, expansion of Tampa Stadium and plans for a Bucs training complex.

March 21, 1995 - Name of Tampa Stadium changed to Houlihan Stadium by right of Buccaneer contract.

April 1995 - Hall of Fame Bowl is officially renamed and will now be called the Outback Bowl.

October 20, 1995 - USF Bulls sign 10-year agreement with Tampa Sports Authority for stadium to host home football games starting in 1997.

January 1, 1996 - The first Outback bowl was played between Penn State and Auburn. Penn State won 43-14.

March 1, 1996 - Legends Field opens; The New York Yankees played host to the Cleveland Indians.

March 27, 1996 - Tampa Sports Authority backs stadium deal.

April 1, 1996 - Tampa Sports Authority and City Council approve stadium deal.

April 19, 1996 - Taxpayers on hook for stadium design. Tampa Sports Authority to pay $2 million; Bucs to pay $4 million.

August 6, 1996 - Tampa Sports Authority approves sale of south property to Hillsborough Aviation Authority for $19.375 million.

October 1996 - The now Amalie Arena (formerly known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum) opens its doors to the public.

October 15, 1996 - Groundbreaking begins on the new Tampa Community Stadium.

September 6, 1997 - University of South Florida played their first football game at Houlihan Stadium, beating Kentucky Wesleyan 80-3.

September 20, 1998 - The first Bucs game was played at Raymond James Stadium®. The Bucs defeated the Chicago Bears 27-15.

September 30, 1998 - Tampa Sports Authority conveys ownership of Legends Field to Hillsborough County.

October 3, 1998 - University of South Florida held its first game at Raymond James Stadium® against Citadel; USF won 45-6.

January 1, 1999 - First Outback Bowl was played at Raymond James Stadium® featuring Penn State and Kentucky; Penn State won 26-14.

January 18, 1999 - Demolition began on Houlihan Stadium as the first wrecking ball was dropped by Mayor Dick Greco.

March 20, 1999 - The Tampa Bay Mutiny played their first game at Raymond James Stadium® against DC United; DC United won 5-2.

April 11, 1999 - The last portion of Houlihan Stadium was demolished in an explosion. The lounge box structure was detonated and witnessed by thousands nearby.

January 28, 2001 - Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium®. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants 34-7 behind an impressive defensive performance by MVP Ray Lewis.

December 19, 2003 - Tampa Sports Authority conveys ownership of Raymond James Stadium® to Hillsborough County but retains responsibilities of managing the facility.

December 30, 2004 - Tampa Sports Authority conveys ownership of the now Amalie Arena to Hillsborough County.