Opening day for the MLB is an exciting time of year and, for many, marks the beginning of spring and better days. In our opinion, there’s no better place to celebrate MLB opening day, which will fall on March 31, 2022, than in Champa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Rays, the MLB team of Tampa, had a fantastic 2021 season. Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for the world of baseball over the past two years, the Rays managed to garner national attention and exceed expectations, which makes opening day in Tampa Bay even more exciting.
Tampa Bay has fared well in sports, which means the sports bars are becoming even more necessary. Tampa has already got you covered; there are truly some incredible businesses that dedicate themselves to creating the best sports viewing experience for all of its guests.
Whether you’re a Tampa resident or just stopping in for a quick trip, heading into the city to one of Tampa’s best sports bars will be a great place to watch and celebrate MLB opening day. Even if you’re not a Rays fan, you have to give them credit for being a damn good team and fun to watch, especially in one of the following Tampa sports bars.
Self-proclaimed as “the best sports bar in Tampa,” Hattrick’s Tavern is a classic beloved sports bar. Their food menu is literally organized by pre-game, first period, second period, third period, and assists. According to the tavern’s website, Hattrick’s was founded in 1997 “with the sports enthusiast in mind.” The tavern is lined with sports memorabilia… we can’t think of a better place to celebrate opening day.
Even better, they have happy hour every day from 4 pm to 8 pm as well as 10 pm to close, so you know that they are going to celebrate MLB opening day the right way. It’s almost a guarantee that Hattrick’s will be packed with fellow Tampa fans who are eager to kick off the 2022 season, right alongside you.
In Tampa, if the bar has the word sports in its name, you know it’s going to be a good place to celebrate opening day.
If you’re looking to get close to the action, Ferg’s is the spot for you. With a location right across from Tropicana Field, the famed home of the Tampa Bay Rays, you’ll be right there where the magic happens.
And lest you be concerned about space, you should know that Ferg’s takes up nearly two entire city blocks. With several different indoor sections packed with plenty of TVs and live music and outdoor space available in Ferg’s Backyard, you can rock with other baseball fans all night long—or at least until 11 pm on weeknights and 1 am on weekends.
You’ll find excellent craft beer, juicy burgers, and wings, as well as other classics like soft pretzels and sub sandwiches.
In Tampa, if the bar has the word sports in its name, you know it’s going to be a good place to celebrate opening day. Anchor Bar is a classic spot with two locations—one in Davis Islands and one in Downtown Tampa, so you can choose where you’d rather be.
Try their selection of grilled flatbreads, or grab a hot dog to really feel like you’re getting the game day experience. With other options like wings, burgers, and even salads, you’re sure to find something to munch on while you celebrate the return of your favorite sport. You could even try something a little more unique, like their fried mushrooms or a Waldorf salad.
What’s the difference between a sports bar and a sports lounge? It appears that Ducky’s takes everything one step further, which is why they are allowed to claim this lounge title. This means they’ve got an outdoor patio, mini bowling alleys, craft cocktails, and upscale food. To be honest, the mini bowling alleys sound like a game-changer, in our opinion.
Their menu is extensive and certainly lives up to its upscale classification. They also host private events and parties, so even if you’re not able to make your way to Ducky’s for MLB opening day, consider coming back for a special event or just a night out with friends!
Ducky’s is perfect if you’re looking for plenty of things to do while you’re watching the game, and you won’t be stuck standing around one crowded bar because there are plenty of activities to do while you watch.
According to one guest's review, they had three words to describe The Blind Goat Food and Drink: Buffalo wings. Bingo. Booze. Those are the top three prerequisites for a place to celebrate MLB opening day in our book!
With late-night hours and impressive reviews, the Blind Goat Food and Drink is a place that will be perfect for watching the game and enjoying good food and drinks with friends. Their menu items are classic and simple, with a wide selection of wings, pizzas, mac and cheese, and plenty of appetizers.
While the Blind Goat has less of a sports bar vibe, this is a perfect option if you’re hoping to watch the game while enjoying excellent food.
One of our favorite bars in the 1st and Central district of St. Pete. We love the no frills environment, and their music selection is second to none. But perhaps the best thing about Thirsty First is their menu. Their food adds an elevated gastro-inspired touch to the traditional bar favorites. And let's not forget drink specials - enjoy $4 drafts and Pink Whitney shots all day Thursday.
No list of Tampa Bay sports bars would be complete without mentioning Press Box. This has been a Tampa institution for decades. Vintage jerseys and uniforms adorn practically every inch of the walls inside. The bar top is filled with old ticket stubs and sports memorabilia of the past, inlayed in a smoke-stained epoxy that will bring you back to the glory days of Florida sports.
Locals know this place primarily for their wings, which they serve up with the drum and flat still connected. It might seem strange at first, but you'll quickly learn to appreciate it.
While we’re big believers that the people you’re with matter more than the place, heading to one of these Tampa sports bars will make the 2022 MLB opening day memorable. Whether you’re with a big group of friends or just trying to catch a bit of the game by yourself after work, all of these sports bars have got you covered.
Also, many of these bars and restaurants have delivery and take-out options, so if you’re hoping to celebrate in a more low-key manner from the comfort of your couch, you can still get a taste of all of these sports bars. Even if you were more a fan of the Tampa Bay Bandits, you’ll still have a good time.
Lucky for Tampa residents and those who have the chance to visit, you can’t go wrong with all of these bars, and which one you choose just comes down to your specific preference and the vibe you are going for on MLB opening day.