War on I-4
|Orlando Predators–Tampa Bay Storm|
|First meeting||June 1, 1991
Florida Suncoast Dome
St. Petersburg, Florida
|First result||Predators 51, Storm 38|
|Last meeting||June 8, 2013
Tampa Bay Times Forum
|Last result||Predators 55, Storm 48|
|Rivalry status||52 meetings|
|Largest victory||Predators 52, Storm 13 (2006)|
|Smallest victory||Predators 44, Storm 43 (2000)
Storm 63, Predators 62 (2010)
|Current streak||Predators W1|
|All-Time series||Tied 26–26|
|Last Meeting||August 14, 2010|
|Last Result||Storm 63, Predators 62|
|All-Time postseason series||Tied 4–4|
|Playoff and Championship success|
|ArenaBowl Wins||Storm: V (1991), VII (1993), IX (1995), X (1996), XVII (2003)
Predators: XII (1998), XIV (2000)
|ArenaBowl Appearances||Storm: I (1987), III (1989) V (1991) VII (1993), IX (1995), X (1996), XII (1998), XVII (2003), XXIII (2010)
Predators: VI (1992), VIII (1994), IX (1995), XII (1998), XIII (1999), XIV (2000), XX (2006)
The War On I-4 is the nickname for the rivalry between the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators in the Arena Football League. The teams have met at least twice and up to four times a season since 1991, and both have consistently been at the top of the league standings. The rivalry has been compared to the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball.
Although the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets, separated by an 80-mile stretch of Interstate 4, have teams in each of the major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada, none of the Big Four leagues have a team in both cities. Orlando has the Magic of the NBA while Tampa Bay hosts the Rays in MLB, Buccaneers in the NFL and Lightning in the NHL. Despite each market being of relatively large size in its own respective right, few leagues (especially those that have had long histories) have attempted to place teams in both cities; this has created few opportunities for the two nearby cities to form rivalries. The Arena Football League was an aberration in this regard when it approved the Orlando Predators as an expansion team in 1991, then allowed for the Pittsburgh Gladiators, a charter AFL team, to relocate to the Tampa Bay area and become the Tampa Bay Storm. The Storm and Predators became instant rivals.
Currently the games are played either at the Predators' home, CFE Arena, or the Storm's home, Tampa Bay Times Forum (previously known as the "Ice Palace" and "St. Pete Times Forum"). Games hosted by the Storm before the 1997 season were held at what is now Tropicana Field, but was known as "Florida Suncoast Dome" before 1994 and "Thunderdome" thereafter. Games hosted by the Predators until the end of the 2010 season were at Hummer Field at the Amway Arena (originally the "Orlando Arena," later "TD Waterhouse Centre"). From 2011–2013 they played at Amway Center.
The overall record in both regular and postseason combined currently has the series tied 26–26. The sides have met eight times in the AFL playoffs, with each team winning four times, and twice in the ArenaBowl, with each team winning once. Their most recent playoff meeting was on August 14, 2010 in the American Conference Championship game, in which Tampa Bay won 63–62 as a long field goal attempt by the Predators fell short as time expired.
The games between the teams are notable for featuring some of the highest attendances in AFL history. The ArenaBowl IX title match of September 1, 1995 drew an Arena Bowl record crowd of 25,087 to Thunderdome to see the Storm defeat the Predators by 48–35. Both teams are known to organize bus trips for supporters down Interstate 4 (hence the War on I-4) to the other city to see their squad play.
The series also has the top overall attendance record in league history when Orlando defeated Tampa Bay 46–45 in front of 28,745 at the Florida Suncoast Dome in week 6 of the 1993 AFL season.
In 2010, the rivalry resumed after a year off caused by the Arena Football League suspending operations in 2009.
|Season||Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team||Venue||Comp.||Atten.||Record (ORL–TB)|
|1991||June 1||Tampa Bay Storm||38–51||Orlando Predators||Florida Suncoast Dome||Week 1||10,354||1–0|
|1991||July 27||Orlando Predators||16–26||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 9||13,680||1–1|
|1992||May 29||Orlando Predators||32–39||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 1||11,312||1–2|
|1992||July 2||Tampa Bay Storm||33–48||Orlando Predators||Florida Suncoast Dome||Week 6||20,091||2–2|
|1992||August 15||Orlando Predators||24–21 (OT)||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||AFL Semifinal||13,680||3–2|
|1993||May 21||Orlando Predators||46–34||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 2||13,680||4–2|
|1993||June 19||Tampa Bay Storm||45–46||Orlando Predators||Florida Suncoast Dome||Week 6||28,745||5–2|
|1993||August 14||Orlando Predators||52–55||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||AFL Semifinal||13,680||5–3|
|1994||July 1||Orlando Predators||61–40||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 7||14,015||6–3|
|1994||August 13||Tampa Bay Storm||40–39||Orlando Predators||ThunderDome||Week 13||20,819||6–4|
|1995||July 14||Orlando Predators||34–51||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 10||15,638||6–5|
|1995||July 29||Tampa Bay Storm||44–20||Orlando Predators||ThunderDome||Week 12||24,055||6–6|
|1995||September 1||Tampa Bay Storm||48–35||Orlando Predators||ThunderDome||ArenaBowl IX||25,087||6–7|
|1996||May 18||Tampa Bay Storm||63–42||Orlando Predators||ThunderDome||Week 4||16,444||6–8|
|1996||July 19||Orlando Predators||40–39||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 13||16,236||7–8|
|1997||May 17||Tampa Bay Storm||17–43||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||Week 3||14,179||8–8|
|1997||June 27||Orlando Predators||54–30||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 9||16,529||9–8|
|1998||June 12||Orlando Predators||34–42||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 7||15,948||9–9|
|1998||June 27||Tampa Bay Storm||56–30||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||Week 9||14,125||9–10|
|1998||August 23||Tampa Bay Storm||31–62||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||ArenaBowl XII||17,222||10–10|
|1999||June 12||Orlando Predators||37–63||Tampa Bay Storm||Orlando Arena||Week 8||15,101||10–11|
|1999||July 11||Tampa Bay Storm||47–28||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||Week 12||11,777||10–12|
|1999||August 7||Tampa Bay Storm||19–41||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||AFL Quarterfinal||10,706||11–12|
|2000||May 12||Orlando Predators||44–43||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 5||13,342||12–12|
|2000||July 1||Tampa Bay Storm||50–36||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||Week 12||14,047||12–13|
|2000||August 3||Orlando Predators||34–24||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||AFL Quarterfinal||13,122||13–13|
|2001||June 10||Orlando Predators||57–45||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 9||13,691||14–13|
|2001||July 1||Tampa Bay Storm||38–46||Orlando Predators||Ice Palace||Week 12||17,634||15–13|
|2002||June 9||Tampa Bay Storm||48–45||Orlando Predators||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 8||12,855||15–14|
|2002||July 7||Tampa Bay Storm||48–55||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 12||11,784||16–14|
|2003||February 9||Orlando Predators||54–51||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 2||13,541||17–14|
|2003||March 16||Tampa Bay Storm||52–32||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 7||15,054||17–15|
|2003||June 7||Tampa Bay Storm||60–50||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||AFL Semifinal||14,028||17–16|
|2004||February 8||Tampa Bay Storm||52–41||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 1||15,404||17–17|
|2004||May 2||Orlando Predators||58–63||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 13||13,714||17–18|
|2005||February 11||Orlando Predators||61–46||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 3||14,478||18–18|
|2005||April 9||Tampa Bay Storm||42–54||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 11||18,794||18–19|
|2006||February 19||Tampa Bay Storm||64–67 (OT)||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 4||14,692||19–19|
|2006||April 22||Orlando Predators||52–13||Tampa Bay Storm||TD Waterhouse Centre||Week 13||15,920||20–19|
|2007||March 2||Tampa Bay Storm||27–52||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 1||15,920||21–19|
|2007||April 14||Orlando Predators||61–37||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Arena||Week 7||15,920||22–19|
|2008||April 26||Orlando Predators||41–48||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Arena||Week 9||13,365||22–20|
|2008||June 7||Tampa Bay Storm||71–61||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 15||17,344||22–21|
|2010||May 28||Orlando Predators||50–62||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Arena||Week 9||10,924||22–22|
|2010||July 31||Tampa Bay Storm||60–75||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 18||17,302||23–22|
|2010||August 14||Tampa Bay Storm||63–62||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||AFL Semifinal||10,104||23–23|
|2011||May 6||Orlando Predators||63–61||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Center||Week 9||12,897||24–23|
|2011||June 17||Tampa Bay Storm||46–44||Orlando Predators||St. Pete Times Forum||Week 15||11,151||24–24|
|2012||May 5||Tampa Bay Storm||55–31||Orlando Predators||Tampa Bay Times Forum||Week 9||8,488||24–25|
|2012||June 15||Orlando Predators||64–40||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Center||Week 15||12,441||25–25|
|2013||April 20||Orlando Predators||35–53||Tampa Bay Storm||Amway Center||Week 5||11,969||25–26|
|2013||June 8||Tampa Bay Storm||48–55||Orlando Predators||Tampa Bay Times Forum||Week 12||14,041||26–26|
Winner in bold.
- Pickard, B. J. (June 14, 2011). "The War on I-4: AFL's Biggest Rivals Collide in Tampa". Arena Football League. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "Storm Punch Ticket To ArenaBowl XXIII With 63-62 Win Over Predators". Arena Football League. August 14, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Fran Stuchbury (June 6, 2005). "City reveals vision for Amway Arena area". Our Sports Central. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "Bus Trip to Tampa Announced" Retrieved August 3, 2010