Florida Sports Events
Florida has an abundance of sporting events that includes football, baseball, basketball and hockey. We will keep you updated on what sporting events are happening and when and where they are being played.
Football Teams in Florida
Florida NFL Teams
The NFL’s regular season is 17 weeks long. It begins the first full week of September and runs through late December or early January. Florida’s NFL Football Teams are the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
College football in Florida
The college football season begins one week earlier than the NFL season on Labor Day weekend and runs through early January. Its postseason consists of a series of 35 bowl games between the top 70 teams. Florida bowl games include the Capital One Bowl and the Champ Sports Bowl in Orlando, the Progressive Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, and the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg. The best known Florida college football teams are the University of Florida Gators (based out of Gainesville), the University of Miami Hurricanes , and the Florida State University Seminoles (based out of Tallahassee).
MLB Regular Season games
Major League Baseball’s regular season consists of 162 games. It generally begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October. The playoffs are in October or early November. Florida’s MLB teams are Miami’s Florida Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Information about MLB Spring Training games in Florida’s Grapefruit League
Fans from all around the country visit to Florida every year to see their favorite MLB team play in the Florida Grapefruit League.
There are 15 different Major League teams that host spring training games in Florida. These teams make Florida their baseball home for the month of March.
It’s fun to plan a baseball vacation, and try to hit as many stadiums as possible.
The stadiums of Florida’s Grapefruit League are all over Central and South Florida, from Orlando and Tampa to Ft. Myers and Fort Lauderdale.
Staying someplace in the middle will allow you to go to more games.
The Tampa Bay area seems is a nice play to stay. There are four stadiums close by, while Kissimmee (Astros) and Orlando (Braves) are not too far away.
For Red Sox fans, their home is in the Jet Blue Stadium in Ft. Myers. Read my blog article that I wrote when attended the first game ever played at Jet Blue Stadium.
The Twins are also nearby.
With a quick drive down Florida’s east coast you can also see the Mets, Marlins and Cardinals.
There is a certain atmosphere in the spring Florida air that is hard to describe, you just have to experience the a spring training MLB game for yourself. If you get the chance, try to see a couple of games this season.
Get out and enjoy the warm Florida sun, giant hot dogs, draft beer and Major League baseball!
Below is a guide to help fans navigate to the different Florida spring training stadiums
1. Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is a little slice of Canada on the west coast of Florida. The Toronto Blue Jays call Florida Auto Exchange Stadium their spring training home. The Blue Jays don’t have a tremendous spring training following, but games against the Red Sox and Yankees always draw a big crowd.
2. Bright House Networks Field
Home to the Philadelphia Phillies, this stadium opened its doors in 2004. It is one of the nicest spring training venues in the Grapefruit League. In addition to having great sight lines and comfortable seating, they serve the best Philly Cheese Steaks in Florida.
3. Steinbrenner Field
George M. Steinbrenner Field is the premier venue of the Florida Grapefruit League. Renamed in 2008 from Legends Field to the long-time Yankees owner, it is home to the New York Yankees, who spared no expense on this ballpark. It is referred to as a mini Yankee Stadium because it has the same look and feel. Even the dimensions of the field are the same! Games here are always packed full of Yankee fans. If you are in Tampa on a March afternoon, get to Steinbrenner Field to catch the Bronx bombers in action!
4. McKechnie Field
McKechnie Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was completely rebuilt in 1993. If you are going to catch a game there, be sure to head out early because parking is scarce. However, it is overall a good place to see a game.
5. Ed Smith Stadium
The Cincinnati Reds played at Ed Smith Stadium for the final time in 2009, and the Baltimore Orioles are back! It is a great ballpark to catch a spring training game and is a favorite among the spring training faithful in Sarasota.
6. Charlotte Sports Park
Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte is the new home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The stadium underwent major renovations when it welcomed the Rays in 2009. Also used by the local community for concerts, festivals and expos, Charlotte Sports Park is a welcome addition to the Grapefruit League.
7. Jet Blue Stadium
The home of the Boston Red Sox is one of the nicer spring training venues in Florida. Of course the Sox could play in an alley behind a shopping mall and still draw 15,000 loyal fans a game! Most of the seats on the infield are shaded, keeping Red Sox fans from turning red in the Florida sun. Jet Blue Stadium is the place to be if you are in Ft. Myers. Games here are always packed and a lot of fun, so long as you are a Red Sox fan!
8. Hammond Stadium
Hammond Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins, is a sight to be seen. While walking up to the main gate, you may feel like you are at the Kentucky Derby. The facade was made to look like Churchill Downs. If you find yourself in Ft. Myers be sure to visit the baseball history museum at nearby Terry Park Stadium. It chronicles the unique history of baseball in Southern Florida.
9. Roger Dean Stadium
Roger Dean Stadium is one of the the busier ballparks in Florida during the month of March. It is home to both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins and is a favorite among Florida baseball fans. The stadium offers no shade so bring some sunscreen and a hat.
10. Digital Domain Park
The New York Mets have a very loyal following in the Grapefruit League, and are well at home at Digital Domain Park. The Mets are serious contenders in the NL East each season, creating quite a buzz on Florida west coast in March!
11. Space Coast Stadium
Buy Washington Nationals Spring Training Tickets
The Washington Nationals made their Florida debut at Space Coast Stadium in 2007. It is a good place to see a game but if you plan on catching a game here, be sure to bring some sunscreen. Only the top rows of the 200 level down the line offer shade in the midday.
12. Osceola County Stadium
Osceola County Stadium, located in Kissimmee is home to the Houston Astros. It is one of the smaller venues in the Grapefruit League offering fans a chance to get up close and personal with their favorite players.
13. Champion Stadium
This stadium is one of the nicest in all of the Grapefruit League. It is very large, seating 9,500 fans, but the the designers have laid it out so 90% of the seats are between the bases! It is a gem of a ballpark and is very family friendly with Disney World located right next door.
14. Joker Marchant Stadium
Joker Marchant Stadium was renovated in 2003. The Tigers don’t draw as well as some of the other teams in the Grapefruit League but if you are a Tigers fan, this means plenty of seats to be had! If you are a casual baseball fan looking to see some big names, look for games vs the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox or Braves. The tickets will be cheaper here than in the home stadiums of these teams.