- Baseball - Major League and Minor League
- Pro Wrestling
- Stand-Up Comedy
- Heavy Metal
Lack of Support
Of these, the hip-hop scene probably has the best support. Especially if a national act is involved. If a known entity is performing and local acts are opening, a venue can expect to be sold out or close to it. But without a national act headlining, many local rappers and DJs end up playing for themselves.
The lack of support for baseball has been well documented, especially at the Major League level. Sure, there is a bevy of reasons, and the Rays TV ratings are great, but too often cheers echo in stadiums throughout the Tampa Bay area. Especially in the Minor League parks.
Pro Wrestling used to be huge in Tampa. Back in the day, Tampa was a hotbed of wrestling, where legends such as Dusty Rhodes ran the state. Not only did they pack the Hester Armory near downtown Tampa, but occasionally they even sold out major football stadiums. Now the WWE moved its training to Orlando and the only pro wrestling that performs regularly is the occasional bar show in Ybor City.
The local stand-up comedy scene can be better supported as well. While the Tampa Improv and Side Splitters bring in some great national acts, local comics plying their trade appear in front of 25-50 people at best at open mic and small performances. Sure, Tampa is not on the list of "funniest cities" and I personally need to get on stage more, but when more people come out to shows, more people are motivated to perform and join the scene. That is how communities grow.
As for Heavy Metal, admittedly, I don't know as much as I would like to. I am probably guilty of lack of support. I go to shows, but only when big bands are in town, bands such as Obituary and Cannibal Corpse. I do go to the metal community's annual fundraiser for spaying and neutering stray cats and that is usually a great show packed with the best of Tampa Bay metal. But I could probably do more.
Recently, I have been reading Tampa Metal Review.com, a website that writes about the local metal scene. They do good work interviewing bands, taking pics, and reviewing shows. Last week, however, one of their writers called out the scene for not supporting local bands.
There were probably 40 people there the ENTIRE time! Do you people not realize that we are fortunate enough to see bands like this on a pretty regular basis where as in other parts of the USA even (not including the world) would pay $$$$$ to get in the door to see them?!?! We are talking 10$ and 6$ to get in the door. You can’t save up enough change through the week to come see a band line up like this one? I am a poor college student and I can even do this. And do not tell me Behemoth took all your money either. I truly believe there is a lack of support for bands. I have seen a decline over the past six years and frankly, it turns my stomach. You wonder why these bands bitch? No actually, most of them don’t because they will play for ashtrays anyway because they LOVE what they do!Playing for ashtrays. I've never heard that before. I like it. I might have to use that one.
I've been in Tampa for eight years and I'm still not sure what the people of Tampa do support. Maybe they (we) just wait for the next big show or event. Maybe the majority of us don't want to bother with local acts and want to see only the brand names.
Tampa isn't known for much nationally. Our high school baseball teams are usually good and we have had dozens of Major Leaguers hail from here. Our metal scene is highly regarded, and some of the best in Death Metal have recorded, if not started here. But both of these scenes suffer from lack of support.
At least we support our local beer makers. We are getting good at that. Too bad our politicians might burst that bubble on us.
But that's a whole other issue.