Pollstar + VenuesNow Market Focus: Tampa / St. Petersburg Hub

Year End


Tampa Bay’s hot sports market, which includes the NHL’s 2020 Stanley Cup winner, the MLB’s 2020 American League pennant winner, the 2021 Super Bowl-competing Buccaneers and will host Super Bowl LV in February, is just one aspect of its booming live sector.

Winning Time: Pro Sports Boom In The Tampa Area Is Lifting Spirits And Setting The Bar High 

The Tampa-St. Petersburg region stands among Florida’s idyllic destinations, known for its sparkling beaches, gorgeous sunsets and signature tourist attractions. Sports development for the most part has grown in tandem with the market’s big league teams over the past 25 years.

On both fronts, it’s proved to be a winning combination of late. In September, the Tampa Bay Lightning won their second Stanley Cup title in 16 years, competing in a bubble format at Edmonton’s Rogers Place after the pandemic put the 2019-20 season on ice for five months.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to become the first NFL team to advance to a Super Bowl held in their home venue. Regardless of what happens this weekend, Raymond James Stadium is equipped with the latest digital technology for fans in attendance to document the game on their mobile devices.

Early in the new year, crews wrapped up a massive 5G upgrade at the 65,890-seat stadium and surrounding property to accommodate the newest generation of broadband cellular service. 

Tampa Bay Local Recs: Hot Spots From The Market’s Power Players

We’ve asked some of the Tampa/St. Petersburg market’s power players their favorite spots in town. While some predictably picked their own venue of interest, there are some hot takes and good advice for anyone looking to do business in or enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling market, which has been extensively profiled in Pollstar and VenuesNow’s first Market Focus deep dive.

Q’s With John Valentino, AEG Presents Senior Vice President

If you’ve seen a show in Florida over the last four decades, there’s a reasonable chance John Valentino had a hand in it.

From 1979 to 2008, Valentino worked alongside Jon Stoll at Fantasma Productions, helping to make Florida’s music market the powerhouse it is today. After Stoll’s untimely death in 2008, Valentino joined AEG Presents (then AEG Live) as senior vice president of its Southeast region, where he’s continued to shape Florida’s varied markets for the last decade. 

Q’s With Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall Executive Vice President, Programming

If The Tampa Bay market doesn’t begin and end with Tampa and St. Petersburg. Across the bay from Tampa and north of St. Petersburg lies Clearwater, an enclave on the Gulf Coast that’s home to about 120,000 – and many of the region’s hottest shows.

Ruth Eckerd Hall sits at Clearwater’s live nexus, in large part thanks to Bobby Rossi, its executive vice president, programming, who has built the 2,200-capacity theater into a prime destination for local concertgoers and national touring artists alike during his quarter-century tenure there.

From Smoked Mullett to Greek Sponge Divers to Sports City U.S.A: The Outlaws’ Henry Paul On What Makes Tampa Awesome

The Outlaws’ founder and prime mover, Henry Paul, may be one of the biggest rock stars to hail from Tampa, Fla. Though he no longer lives there, he visits every year, partakes in its culinary delights and actively roots for its sports teams – which, with top NHL, MLB and NFL teams and host of this year’s Super Bowl,  one could make a solid argument for it being “Sports City U.S.A.” Here then, Paul recalls building his career in the area clubs, the region’s hidden gems including smoked mullet and the historical Columbia Restaurant, it ascendant sports scene and, of course, Greek sponge divers.


For Booking Acts Into Tampa Hotels, He Applies The Gold Standard

Entertainment Travel, based in Nashville, specializes in putting bands on the road for tours. And for Nick Gold, who founded the company in 1985, every tour is different.

“From an accommodation point of view there are three main things we look at: obviously, the band and its budget; the location from the hotel to the venue; and the service at the hotel being what the band is looking for,” Gold said. “I’m not going to take an A-listed act and put them in a Holiday Inn (and) I’m not going to put a club act at the Ritz-Carlton.”

Tampa Tallies: Boxoffice Landmarks From City’s Rich Entertainment History

Tampa’s super-sized live entertainment ventures throughout the years stretch beyond playing host to five Super Bowls. Pollstar’s archived Boxoffice data shines a light on many of the success stories that have historically impacted the city. Ticket sales data from events staged at the stadiums and arenas of Tampa provide a snapshot of the area’s vibrant past in live performing.