Sports teams in Florida
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Sports teams in Florida include many professional, semi-professional, amateur and college teams. In professional sports, Florida has three National Football League teams, two Major League Baseball teams, two National Basketball Association teams, two National Hockey League teams, one Major League Soccer team, and many minor league teams in various sports. Additionally, since the late 19th century Florida has been a significant spring training destination for Major League Baseball teams and their affiliates.
Professional major league teams
Florida has teams in all of the major league sports — National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. In the early 1980s, Florida had major league teams in only the NFL. Florida has since added two NBA teams in the late 1980s. Florida added two NHL teams in the 1990s as part of the NHL's expansion into the south, and two MLB teams in the 1990s. Florida's most recent major-league team, Orlando City, began play in MLS in 2015.
|Miami Marlins||Baseball||MLB||Marlins Park||2 (1997, 2003)||1993|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Baseball||MLB||Tropicana Field||0||1998|
|Miami Heat||Basketball||NBA||American Airlines Arena||3 (2006, 2012, 2013)||1988|
|Orlando Magic||Basketball||NBA||Amway Center||0||1989|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Football||NFL||EverBank Field||0||1993|
|Miami Dolphins||Football||NFL||Hard Rock Stadium||2 (1972, 1973)||1966|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Football||NFL||Raymond James Stadium||1 (2002)||1976|
|Florida Panthers||Ice hockey||NHL||BB&T Center||0||1993|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Ice hockey||NHL||Amalie Arena||1 (2004)||1992|
|Orlando City SC||Soccer||MLS||Camping World Stadium
(Orlando City Stadium in 2017)
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||Soccer||NASL||Tampa Stadium, Al Lang Stadium||4 (1975 NASL, 1976 NASL Indoor, 1979-1980 NASL, 2012 NASL)||1975|
Florida is the traditional home for Major League Baseball spring training, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League." As of 2004[update], Florida hosts the following major league teams for spring training:
|Atlanta Braves||Walt Disney World|
|Boston Red Sox||Fort Myers|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Arizona|
|Minnesota Twins||Fort Myers|
|New York Mets||Port St. Lucie|
|New York Yankees||Tampa|
|Saint Louis Cardinals||Jupiter|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Port Charlotte|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Dunedin|
|Washington Nationals *last year 2016*||Viera|
The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens while the LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach. The Players Championship, sometimes referred to as the fifth major, is held every year near Jacksonville. Additionally, the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Honda Classic and Valspar Championship are PGA Tour rounds.
NASCAR (headquartered in Daytona Beach) begins all three of its major auto racing series in Florida at Daytona International Speedway in February, featuring the Daytona 500, and ends all three Series in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Daytona also has the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race weekend around Independence Day in July. The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the world's most prestigious endurance auto races. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Grand Prix of Miami have held IndyCar races as well.
Auto racing tracks
- Daytona International Speedway
- Homestead-Miami Speedway
- Sebring Raceway
- Streets of St. Petersburg
- Walt Disney World Speedway
- New Symrna Speedway
- Five Flags Speedway
Minor league and semi-pro teams
The following table shows the Florida college teams that have average attendance of over 25,000. The college teams with the highest attendances are all FBS football teams.
|Florida Gators football||85,834||SEC|
|Florida State Seminoles football||82,211||ACC|
|Miami Hurricanes football||52,518||ACC|
|UCF Knights football||37,812||American|
|South Florida Bulls football||30,694||American|
- College Sports Scholarships. Accessed November 30, 2015.
- "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut", MLSsoccer.com, November 19, 2013.
- 2014 NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE, NCAA, Accessed December 2, 2015.