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.

The Miami Dolphins play at Sun Life Stadium.

In college sports, thirteen Florida schools compete in NCAA Division I.[1] Various others compete in other organizations including the NAIA, the NJCAA, the USCAA, The NCCAA and NCAA Division II.

Professional major league teams[edit]

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.[2]

Club Sport League Venue Championships (Years) Founded
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)
-- 2013
Tampa Bay Rowdies Soccer NASL Tampa Stadium, Al Lang Stadium 4 (1975 NASL, 1976 NASL Indoor, 1979-1980 NASL, 2012 NASL) 1975

Spring training[edit]

Florida is the traditional home for Major League Baseball spring training, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League." As of 2004, Florida hosts the following major league teams for spring training:

Club Location
Atlanta Braves Walt Disney World
Baltimore Orioles Sarasota
Boston Red Sox Fort Myers
Detroit Tigers Lakeland
Miami Marlins Jupiter
Houston Astros Kissimmee
Los Angeles Dodgers Arizona
Minnesota Twins Fort Myers
Club Location
New York Mets Port St. Lucie
New York Yankees Tampa
Philadelphia Phillies Clearwater
Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton
Saint Louis Cardinals Jupiter
Tampa Bay Rays Port Charlotte
Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin
Washington Nationals *last year 2016* Viera

Individual sports[edit]

Golf, tennis and auto racing are popular in Florida.

"Island Green" par-3 17th hole at
The Players Championship.

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.

In tennis, the Miami Masters is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier event. The Delray Beach International Tennis Championships is a ATP World Tour 250 event.

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.[citation needed] The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Grand Prix of Miami have held IndyCar races as well.

Daytona International Speedway

Auto racing tracks[edit]

Minor league and semi-pro teams[edit]

Club Sport League Venue Championships (Years)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos Baseball MiLB, Southern League (AA) Pensacola Bayfront Stadium 0
Orlando Pride Soccer NWSL Camping World Stadium
(Orlando City Stadium in 2017)
Jacksonville Suns Baseball MiLB, Southern League (AA) Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville 6 (1968, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010)
Bradenton Marauders Baseball MiLB, Florida State League (A) McKechnie Field 0
Brevard County Manatees Baseball MiLB, Florida State League (A) Space Coast Stadium 1 (2000)
Clearwater Threshers Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Bright House Networks Field 1 (2007)
Daytona Cubs Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Jackie Robinson Ballpark 3 (1995, 2004, 2008)
Dunedin Blue Jays Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Knology Park 0
Fort Myers Miracle Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Hammond Stadium 5 (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1978)
Jupiter Hammerheads Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Roger Dean Stadium 0
Lakeland Flying Tigers Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Joker Marchant Stadium 3 (1976, 1977, 1992)
Palm Beach Cardinals Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Roger Dean Stadium 1 (2005)
Sarasota Reds Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Ed Smith Stadium 0
St. Lucie Mets Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Tradition Field 5 (1988, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2006)
Tampa Yankees Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Legends Field 5 (1994, 2001, 2004, 2009, 2010)
Charlotte Stone Crabs Baseball MiLB, Florida State League Charlotte Sports Park 2 (1983, 1990)
Heartland Prowl Basketball Continental Basketball League South Florida Community College 0
Gainesville Galaxy Basketball Continental Basketball League MLK, Jr. Recreation Center 0
Florida Flight Basketball Continental Basketball League Avalon Middle School 0
Miami Stars Basketball Continental Basketball League St. Thomas University 0
Tampa Bay Saints Basketball Continental Basketball League Mary Help of Christians Center 0
Palm Beach Titans Basketball Continental Basketball League Student Life Center 0
Jacksonville Giants Basketball American Basketball Association Memorial Arena 2 (2012, 2013)
Orlando Kings Basketball American Basketball Association Downtown Recreation Center 0
Panama City Dream Basketball American Basketball Association TBA 0
Florida Launch Lacrosse MLL FAU Stadium 0
Orlando Griffins Rugby Union USA Rugby Lorna Doone Park 2015 State Champions - 2015 Round of 16 Nationals
Central Florida Warriors Rugby League USA Rugby League Spec Martin Stadium 0
Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League USA Rugby League Hodges Stadium 2 (2010, 2012)
Tampa Mayhem Rugby League USA Rugby League Tampa Catholic High School 0
Fort Lauderdale Strikers Soccer North American Soccer League Lockhart Stadium 0
Jacksonville Armada Soccer North American Soccer League Baseball Grounds 0
Miami FC Soccer North American Soccer League FIU Stadium 0
Tampa Bay Rowdies Soccer North American Soccer League Progress Energy Park 2 (1975, 2012)
Florida Everblades Ice hockey ECHL Germain Arena 1 (2012)
Orlando Solar Bears Ice hockey ECHL Amway Center 0
Pensacola Ice Flyers Ice hockey SPHL Pensacola Civic Center 3 (2013, 2014, 2016)
Jacksonville Sharks Arena football Memorial Arena 1 (2011)
Tampa Bay Storm Arena football AFL Tampa Bay Times Forum 5 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003)
Florida Tarpons Indoor football Arena Developmental League Germain Arena 1 (2013)
Boca Raton FC Soccer American Premier Soccer League Lynn University 2015 APSL Champion - 2015 APSL Open Champion
South Florida Spartans Basketball CBDL Goldenrod Orlando Magic Center 3

College sports[edit]

Popular teams[edit]

The following table shows the Florida college teams that have average attendance of over 25,000.[3] The college teams with the highest attendances are all FBS football teams.

Team Attendance Conference
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

Comprehensive list[edit]

School Nickname City Affiliation Conference National
ASA College Miami Silver Storm Miami NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Ave Maria University Gyrenes Ave Maria NAIA DII,
The Sun Conference
Barry University Buccaneers Miami Shores NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference
Bethune–Cookman University Wildcats Daytona Beach NCAA DI Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 0
Broward College Seahawks Davie NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Chipola College Indians Marianna NJCAA DI Panhandle Conference
Clearwater Christian College Cougars Clearwater NCCAA DII 17
College of Central Florida Patriots Ocala NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
Daytona State College Falcons Daytona Beach NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
Eastern Florida State College Titans Melbourne NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Eckerd College Tritons Saint Petersburg NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference
Edward Waters College Tigers Jacksonville NAIA DI Gulf Coast Athletic Conference,
The Sun Conference (football)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Eagles Daytona Beach NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 19
Flagler College Saints Saint Augustine NCAA DII Peach Belt Conference
Florida A&M University Rattlers Tallahassee NCAA DI Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 25
Florida Atlantic University Owls Boca Raton NCAA DI Conference USA 2
Florida College Falcons Temple Terrace USCAA DI 23
Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles Fort Myers NCAA DI Atlantic Sun Conference 0
Florida Institute of Technology Panthers Melbourne NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 2
Florida International University Panthers Miami NCAA DI Conference USA 4
Florida Memorial University Lions Miami Gardens NAIA DII The Sun Conference
Florida National University Conquistadors Hialeah USCAA DI
Florida Southern College Moccasins Lakeland NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 27
Florida SouthWestern State College Buccaneers Fort Myers NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Florida State University Seminoles Tallahassee NCAA DI Atlantic Coast Conference 14
Florida State College at Jacksonville Bluewave Jacksonville NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
Gulf Coast State College Commodores Panama City NJCAA DI Panhandle Conference 4
Hillsborough Community College Hawks Tampa NJCAA DI Suncoast Conference
Indian River State College Pioneers Fort Pierce NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Jacksonville University Dolphins Jacksonville NCAA DI Atlantic Sun Conference 0
Johnson & Wales University Wildcats North Miami NAIA DII The Sun Conference
Johnson University Florida Suns Kissimmee NCCAA DII
Lake-Sumter State College Lakehawks Leesburg NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
Lynn University Fighting Knights Boca Raton NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 22
Miami Dade College Sharks Miami NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Northwest Florida State College Raiders Niceville NJCAA DI Panhandle Conference
Keiser University Seahawks West Palm Beach NAIA DII The Sun Conference
Nova Southeastern University Sharks Fort Lauderdale NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 11
Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish West Palm Beach NCAA DII,
Independent 0
Palm Beach State College Panthers Lake Worth NJCAA DI Southern Conference
Pasco–Hernando State College Conquistadors New Port Richey NJCAA DII
Pensacola Christian College Eagles Pensacola NCCAA DII
Pensacola State College Pirates Pensacola NJCAA DI Panhandle Conference
Polk State College Eagles Winter Haven NJCAA DI Suncoast Conference
Rollins College Tars Winter Park NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 22
Saint Leo University Lions St. Leo NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 0
Saint Thomas University Bobcats Miami NAIA DII The Sun Conference
Santa Fe College Saints Gainesville NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
Seminole State College of Florida Raiders Sanford NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
South Florida State College Panthers Avon Park NJCAA DI Suncoast Conference
Southeastern University Fire Lakeland NAIA DII,
The Sun Conference 4
St. Johns River State College Vikings Palatka NJCAA DI Mid-Florida Conference
St. Petersburg College Titans St. Petersburg NJCAA DI Suncoast Conference
SCF Manatee-Sarasota Manatees Bradenton NJCAA DI Suncoast Conference
Stetson University Hatters DeLand NCAA DI Atlantic Sun Conference 0
Tallahassee Community College Eagles Tallahassee NJCAA DI Panhandle Conference
Trinity Baptist College Eagles Jacksonville NCCAA DII
Trinity College (Florida) Tigers New Port Richey NCCAA DII
University of Central Florida Knights Orlando NCAA DI American Athletic Conference 2
University of Florida Gators Gainesville NCAA DI Southeastern Conference 33
University of Miami Hurricanes Coral Gables NCAA DI Atlantic Coast Conference 21
University of North Florida Ospreys Jacksonville NCAA DI Atlantic Sun Conference 4
University of South Florida Bulls Tampa NCAA DI American Athletic Conference 1
University of Tampa Spartans Tampa NCAA DII Sunshine State Conference 13
University of West Florida Argonauts Pensacola NCAA DII Gulf South Conference 8
Warner University Royals Lake Wales NAIA DII,
The Sun Conference
Webber International University Warriors Babson Park NAIA DII The Sun Conference 0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ College Sports Scholarships. Accessed November 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Major League Soccer names Orlando City SC as 21st franchise, set for 2015 debut",, November 19, 2013.
  3. ^ 2014 NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE, NCAA, Accessed December 2, 2015.