Tampa Sports Authority Background
In 1965 the Tampa Sports Authority began construction of the Tampa Stadium with the financial assistance of Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa. The original stadium was completed in 1967 with the Authority as its manager. TSA also managed former Al Lopez Field, a baseball training complex for the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees as well as other miscellaneous adjacent facilities and properties located on a 134-acre site.
In 1991, the Tampa Bay area was awarded a National Hockey League Franchise, the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a lengthy process, the team chose to build a new arena in downtown Tampa. Tampa Sports Authority played an important role in facilitating the construction of this arena by serving as a conduit for public financing. Tampa Sports Authority owned the now Amalie Arena until Dec. 30, 2004 when it conveyed ownership to Hillsborough County. The Tampa Bay Lightning now manages and operates the facility.
In 1994, Tampa Sports Authority took a role in assisting in the construction of the New York Yankees training facility located directly across Dale Mabry Highway from Tampa Stadium. Legends Field and associated spring training facilities opened in 1996, serving as a training facility and playing field for the New York Yankees and its minor league affiliates.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sold in early 1995 and the new ownership expressed the necessity for a new stadium. Tampa Sports Authority played an active role in the development and construction of Raymond James Stadium to ensure that the Buccaneers remained in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Sports Authority has managed Raymond James Stadium since its opening on Sept. 20, 1998.
Raymond James Stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the University of South Florida Bulls and the Outback Bowl.
The stadium also hosted a Major League Soccer franchise, the Tampa Bay Mutiny, until it was folded in February 2001. The Tampa Sports Authority was instrumental in bringing the franchise to the Tampa Bay area and in also creating the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
The Tampa Sports Authority has hosted four NFL Super Bowls. Tampa Stadium hosted Super Bowl XVIII in 1984 and Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Raymond James Stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001 and Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009. The Tampa Sports Authority has also hosted many other sporting and entertainment events at both stadiums, including the NFL Pro Bowl in 1978, USFL Tampa Bay Bandits 1983-1985, the USFL Champinoship in 1984, the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1975-1993 and more than 390 concerts and community events.
Along with Raymond James Stadium, today Tampa Sports Authority also operates and manages three city of Tampa golf courses. These courses include Babe Zaharias Golf Course, Rogers Park Golf Course and Rocky Point Golf Course. With the exception of a management fee, all of the operating revenue is reinvested in the golf courses.