TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prepare for Super Bowl LV, they add to a great year for the city’s hometown teams.
The Tampa Bay Lightning brought back the Stanley Cup, the Rays made it to the World Series and the Rowdies won their conference.
Now the Bucs have a chance to another title to Tampa and potentially the moniker of title town.
“We have some of the best sports teams in this country and in the world and we have one of the best places to live in this country and in the world,” said Tampa Bay Lightning Owner and Developer Jeff Vinik.
Vinik says the exciting year for all of the sports teams comes at a great time, as growth in Tampa Bay is booming, including the Water Street Project, which has phase one slated to be finished in the next 15 months.
“We’re trying to create vibrancy downtown and this whole area is growing very rapidly. There’s a lot of construction going on, but half of downtown was kind of vacant, and we came in here 10 to 12 years ago and said we need a gathering spot. We’re surrounded by water on three sides, this is a great place to be,” said Vinik. “It’s all great exposure for us and nobody does it better than we do.”
All of the exposure from the local sports teams is also giving small businesses a much-needed jolt.
“Especially local business like ourselves, we’ve been able to kind of capture that audience. We’ve gained quite a bit of notoriety just from that alone,” said Chris Findeisen, who co-owns Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters.
Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters is one of the small businesses picked to represent the city during Super Bowl LV.
“We’ve been able to give out samples and serve a lot of the guests that have come through. Some people that may have heard of us or know our coffee brand, or new people that are now going to be regulars,” said Findeisen.
Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, one thing is clear: Tampa Bay is already winning.
“A lot of people have said man, people sometimes who live in LA or places like that, are like the city is really a lot of fun. So it’s getting a lot of volume of new people coming to the area,” said Findeisen.