Central Florida has been and continues to be an area to view many different sports on many different levels.
Whether you prefer watching competitive youth sports or Professional sports, Central Florida has it all and everything in between. They start the athletes young here. Whether it is soccer, baseball, football, basketball, swimming, wrestling, or track and field, there are talented and competitive sports clubs for youths. Many competitive youth organizations compete and place in state and national tournaments. There is no doubt that sports are a big deal in Central Florida.
Florida provides great year round weather for sports to thrive.
High school sports are also very competitive in Central Florida. In Polk County alone, there are routinely two or three high schools that are competing in the state playoffs and for state championships. Many players from Central Florida are recruited to play for big name colleges (we will get to college sports in a minute) in baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. Many high school athletes not only play in high school sports, but also in competitive leagues during the high school off season. This allows the athletes to practice and play at a high level for most of the year, fine tuning their skills and gaining a competitive advantage over many other states.
To say college football is a big deal is an overstatement. While the big three schools (UF, FSU, and UofM) are not in Central Florida, they are all just a few hours away and have a large passionate following of most residents. Central Florida is also the location of two other major colleges, University of Central Florida and University of Southern Florida. The Golden Knights and Bulls also have a large following and are competitive in the highest levels of athletics. Auburndale and Winter Haven also host RussMatt tournaments for out of area college baseball teams.
Semi-pro sports teams are the next big thing in the area. Last year, a semi-pro soccer team, The Lakeland Tropics formed and began playing indoors in Lakeland. The Orlando Pride soccer team also began playing outdoor soccer in Orlando last year. This year, the Lakeland Tropics began playing outdoor soccer. In 2018, the Orlando Magic’s Developmental League team,Lakeland Magic, will begin practicing in Winter Haven and playing in Lakeland. The area also has the Central Florida Lacrosse Club in addition to many other clubs.
One thing that many in the area may take for granted is the large amount of Professional sports in the area. Central Florida is home to the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando City SC Lions, Orlando Predators Indoor Football, the ATP Tennis tournament, PGA and LPGA Golf tour, and Detroit Tigers Spring Training. A few hours away and we can go see the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins, and NASCAR. Every major professional sport is represented in Central Florida.
In addition to all the sports that call Central Florida home, the area also hosts multiple college football bowl games, Superbowl, and other large one time events. No matter where you go, you are bound to find a sport of most any kind on any level taking place at just about anytime. The level of excitement built around sports in the area may not be surpassed anywhere else in the country.