Home of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as the University of South Florida's football team, Raymond James Stadium opened in 1998 to replace the antiquated Tampa Stadium, which has since been demolished. The stadium is also the venue for the Outback Bowl, a college bowl game held each New Year's Day. It was also the site for Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. In addition to football games, Raymond James Stadium hosts concerts and special events.
The 65,657-seat state-of-the art stadium is known as the "crown jewel" of the National Football League, and has been voted the best stadium in the National Football League by the National Football League Players Association.
One feature of Raymond James Stadium which I think is absolutely tacky is its 103-foot (31-meter) Disneyesque replica of a pirate ship which shoots rubber balls and confetti from its cannon each time the Buccaneers score. (This probably results from Tampa's relative close proximity to Disney World). The cannon is fired six times for a touchdown, three times for a field goal, twice for a safety or two-point conversion, and once for an extra point.
The state-of-the-art American Airlines Arena is home to the National Basketball Association's Miami Heat and the Women's National Basketball Association's Miami Sol. The arena replaced the antiquated Miami Arena, and opened on New Year's Eve in 1999 with Gloria Estefan's Millennium Concert Spectacular.
For basketball games, the American Airlines Arena has a seating capacity of 19,600. For other events, the arena can be configured in five different ways, with the seating capacity ranging from 5,000 to 20,000. No matter the event, patrons will enjoy the arena's fine restaurant and bar, as well as views of the Miami skyline over Biscayne Bay.
In addition to basketball, the American Airlines Arena hosts major concerts, ice shows, circuses, and awards shows, such as the Latin Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards.
Home of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins, Land Shark Stadium opened in 1987. Prior to that time, the Dolphins played in the Orange Bowl, which was not adequate for National Football League games. The Dolphins' then-owner, Joe Robbie, used his own money to build a new home for his football team. Originally called Joe Robbie Stadium, it has been renamed several times to Pro Player Field, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, and now Land Shark Stadium.
At the time Land Shark Stadium was built, Miami did not have a baseball franchise, and was trying to attract a team. In order to help lure a baseball team to Miami, Joe Robbie designed his stadium with a wider field than necessary for football so that it could accommodate baseball. Miami was eventually awarded an expansion team, and Land Shark Stadium became the home of the new Florida Marlins. The stadium was renovated in 1990 better to accommodate baseball. There are 75,000 seats for football games, and 47,662 seats for baseball games.
Due in part to South Florida's benign climate, it is often chosen to host Super Bowl games. Land Shark Stadium has hosted Super Bowl XXIII in 1988, Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, Super Bowl XLI in 2007, and Super Bowl XLIV in 2010.
In general Florida is Sports MAD. While I have put this under Sports Watching, because the spring training camps of a lot of teams are in Florida for the sports fans to watch, and there are also MLB teams in Florida, quite a lot of baseball is played in Florida on all levels.
The picture 2 is of my grandson in Player Pitch Little League. Photo 3 is taken two years later
* Babe Ruth Baseball
* Little League Baseball
* American Athletic Union (AAU Baseball)
* American Legion Baseball
Florida High School Baseball (photo 4 - 2009 at age 14)
* Florida High School Activities Association
* Sunshine Network - Prep News
Florida College Baseball
NCAA Division I
Florida State University - Tallahassee
University of Florida - Gainesville
Florida A&M University - Tallahassee
Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton
Florida International University - Miami
University of South Florida - Tampa
University of Miami - Coral Gables
Stetson University - Deland
Jacksonville University - Jacksonville
University of Central Florida - Orlando
Bethune Cookman - Daytona Beach
NCAA Division II
Barry College - Miami Shores**
Eckerd College - St. Petersburg **
Florida Institute of Technology - Melbourne**
Florida Southern College - Lakeland**
Lynn University - Boca Raton**
Rollins College - Winter Park**
Saint Leo College - Saint Leo**
University of North Florida - Jacksonville
University of Tampa - Tampa**
University of West Florida - Pensacola
**Sunshine State Conference Colleges
Equipment: NAIA Colleges
Flagler College - St. Augustine
Edward Waters College - Jacksonville
Webber College - Babson Park
Warner-Southern College - Lake Wales
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach
Florida Memorial College - Miami
Northwood University - West Palm Beach
Nova Southeastern University - Ft. Lauderdale
Palm Beach Atlantic College - West Palm Beach
Saint Thomas University - Miami
Florida Junior Colleges baseball
National Junior College Athletic Association - Division I
Brevard Community College
Broward Community College
Central Florida Community College
Chipola Junior College
Daytona Beach Community College
Florida Community College/Jacksonville
Gulf Coast Community College
Hillsborough Community College
Indian River Community College
Lake City Community College
Lake-Sumter Community College
Manatee Community College
Miami-Dade Community College/Wolfson
North Florida Junior College
Okaloosa-Walton Community College
Palm Beach Community College
Pasco-Hernando Community College
Pensacola Junior College
Polk Community College
Santa Fe Community College
Seminole Community College
South Florida Community College
St. Johns River Community College
St. Petersburg Junior College
Tallahassee Community College
Valencia Community College
Oh , THIS needs updating for sure....
You can go watch a professional baseball game. The Tampa Bay Rays play at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and much to everyone's surprise, they made it to the World Series this year:-)
Beware of cow bells if you go!!
Note: photo is from football book
If you are a lover of America's Favorite Pastime, baseball, you will be happy in the Spring in Florida. 20 major-league baseball teams hold spring training in Florida. From usually March 1 until earl April, you can watch professional baseball in the Florida Grapefruit-League Games.
In Florida, their major league baseball teams are the Floriday Marlins in Miami and Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Saint Petersburg.
Florida also has three professional football teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and the Jacksonville Jaquars.. It was all that long ago, that Florida had no prfessional football teams.
Florida's professional soccer teams are the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Fort Lauderdal strikers.
Oh, and yes, Orlando has the professional basketball team, the Orlando Magic.
If you like races, there's always horse races at such places as Gulfstream and Hialeah near Miami. And if dog races is what you like, you can see them in Bonita Springs. However, if you prefer car races, then Datona or Sebring is the place to be.
Golf events are often played in sunny Florida at such places as Sawgrass.
Equipment: If Spectator Sports are not your interest because you much rather participate, you're in the right State.
Florida's beaches, warm climate, and sunny days provide the ideal environment for tennis, golf, water sports, fishing, boating, hunting, and hiking.
Either participate or be a spectator because Florida is the perfect place for both!
Most times that we have vacationed in Florida, we have lugged our golf clubs with the hopes of golfing three times a week. Many times our plans have been successful. On some occasions, we have been "foiled" by sky-high prices. Forida golf is "dirt cheap" out of season, but when the Snowbird season arrives, the fees are more than doubled. Many times we had done our research and knew the best times (cheapest rates) to golf and the most reasonable course to play. In addition, we would find local coupons in the papers and tourist books that gave us breaks on price. Once we reason senior age, some courses adjusted the prices.
The Sebring area had the most reasonable prices, and the courses were excellent. Amelia Island and Naples had the most expensive rates, but it still worth it to golf at least once in each place because the courses and scenery are without rival.
If you do your "homework" before you leave on your trip, you will be able to afford to "hit the links" in the Sunshine State.
Equipment: You need a full set of golf clubs, a couple of dozen balls, golf umbrella, golf ball retriever, golf glove, golf shoes without metal spikes, and traveling case for transporting on the airlines.
Most all the courses require appropriate dress attire, which means shirt with a collar and shorts just above the knew. (No cut-offs or tank tops!)
While staying in Bonita Beach, Florida, we had many opportunities to play tennis, both doubles and singles. We stayed in a two bedroom/two bath condo overlooking the beach that we shared with Allan's sister and brother-in-law. We were there for one month, and, fortunately, were able to meet lots of other tennis players of all ages and abilities.
Now, my husband Allan is a good tennis player, so when a Senior Doubles Tournament was scheduled within our Condo Complex, I suggested to Allan that he should ask the best woman tennis player to be his partner. She just happened to be 74 years "young".
He did ask her, and she accepted. They only practiced together once. The tournament was quite exciting to watch, and would you believe it, Allan and his 74-year-old-partner won the tournament!
I took the photo so we'd have it to remember our fun in Bonita Beach where we played tennis on a court right on the beach quite near the water--what a fantastic experience.
Equipment: We always bring our tennis rackets and good tennis shoes when we travel to sunny places such as Florida. We also make sure that we have some "White's" (white tennis clothing) because some places require "proper attire".
We actually carry our tennis rackets (in their carrying cases) on the plane. One of us uses it as our one "carry on". We've had no difficulty so far. But, I would check with your particular airplane carrier to make sure.
Bahia Honda Sandspur Beach was picked by the Travel Channel as the 7th best beach in Florida. I personally think it should be ranked higher than that.
Others have rated Bahia Honda State Park as one of the best beaches in the country. Bahia Honda is made of Largo limestone a prehistoric coral reef similar to the present day living reefs of the Keys.
The park was originally part of Flagler's railroad and the old road bed forms part of the park.. The old railroad bridge can be seen both from the new road and from the beach.
Equipment: Bahia Honda is unique among other islands in the Keys because it has extensive sandy beaches and deep waters close enough offshore to provide exceptional swimming and snorkeling. There are fresh water showers, a concession stand and beautiful nature trails through the mangroves.
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.
The Daily Entrance Fee $5.00 per carload
Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Extra Passengers, Entrance Fee is $1.00 per person.
Palm Beach is notable not only for the beach but for the rich people that live there. Originally West Palm Beach was a place for the servants of the people in Palm Beach to live. It was apparently nominated by the Travel Channel as a good beach and a posh place to shop.
When you go to the Palm Beach County Convention Bureau website, you get "This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed".
The cached entry says "With over 47 miles of white sandy beaches and over 200 hotels and resorts from Jupiter to Boca Raton, our destination offers every conceivable amenity."
Equipment: I haven't really been to Palm beach in a long time. The photo has the the ICW in that area inset in the top and a sunset over that area of the Florida coast from offshore.
Because there are no natural beaches in Key West, the sand for Smather's beach was brought in from the Bahamas. It is Key West's largest public beach at 1 mile long. Bring aqua shoes if you plan on swimming. Smather's Beach is FREE
Higgs Beach is at one end of Smather's Beach and most people probably can't tell where it starts and Smather's Beach ends. It is also free.
Equipment: Smathers Beach has food and beverage vendors, volleyball courts, showers and bathrooms. You can rent beach chairs, windsurfers, jet skis, kayaks and umbrellas at several locations along the beach.
Higgs Beach has a bar and restaurant on the beach, volleyball courts, grills for cookouts, famous sunning pier and free tennis courts. There are also beach chair and umbrella rentals available.
Driving on Daytona beach's hard packed sands has been a tradition since the early days of the automobile.
The beach is open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset Nov. 1 through April 30 and from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., May 1 through Oct. 31. There is a $5 per day per vehicle user fee to drive on the beach February 1 through November 30. Season beach passes are $20 for Volusia County residents and $40 for non-residents. The beach is always open and free to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Equipment: Volusia's beaches are divided into three Experience Zones -- Natural, Transitional and Urban. Natural beach zones exist from the North Peninsula State Recreation Area to Granada Boulevard in Ormond by the Sea; from Emilia Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores to Beach Street in Ponce Inlet and from 27th Avenue in New Smyrna Beach to Canaveral National Seashore in Bethune Beach.
The Natural zones generally correspond to the areas where off-beach development is less intense. The dune habitats within this area largely are intact. These areas also have the highest concentration of turtle nests on Volusia beaches. Public driving and parking is not allowed in the Natural beach areas.
The Transitional zones are those areas which have a mixture of natural dunes and some beach seawalls. The concentration of people in these areas generally is less intense most of the year. Sea turtle nesting in these areas is moderate. Public driving and parking is allowed in the Transitional zone 30 feet seaward of the dunes or seawall.
The Urban zones are those areas where off-beach development includes hotels, high-rise condominiums and seawalls. The concentration of people is the most intense most of the year. Sea turtle nesting in these areas is minimal. Public driving and parking is allowed in the Urban beach areas 15 feet seaward of the dunes or seawall.
Golf is really BIG in Florida. We were at a community called Palm Coast, and I asked a young teen what there was to do around there. He said "Nothing". I asked - well then why are all these folks here? He answered that there were 9 golf courses in that community.
My BIL came down and stayed with my daughter in Miami for a week, and played golf the whole week. [After that my SIL took them out on his boat (another big Florida sport) and they caught some sailfish (fishing - another big Florida sport)]
Equipment: Golf clubs.
I don't play golf, so I don't know much about it. Apparently it is very addicting.
It seems as if everyone in Florida has a boat. They range from megayachts at docks in Palm Beach, through sports fishing boats with their outriggers and towers, to sailboats, rowboats, dinghys and kayaks.
Equipment: Many people appear to get into a boat and drive off in it under the impression that boating is the same as driving a car. It is not.
The How to Boat Smart -- Florida Boating Safety online course is an authorized NASBLA/state-approved course developed by Boat Ed for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). You can complete the course for boating safety education certification or... just take the online Florida boat safety course to improve your boating knowledge
The whole of Florida is mad on fishing. When we go offshore, not only do we have to avoid the gambling ships, but we have to avoid hitting and sinking fishing boats that are out there at night without any lights. And then the sports fish boats wake us (i.e. rock us with their wakes - we are already awake)
The URL below is for Florida fishing regulations.
Equipment: You can go fishing on your own boat in which case you'll know what equipment you want. You can also charter a sports fishing boat, or go out on a head boat. A head boat is a boat that takes a lot of people at once and charges by the head (i.e. by the person). Usually a head boat supplies the gear and bait etc.
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