sports

Florida State University football coach Mike Norvell says the decision not to play Clemson Saturday was made with the health and safety of players in mind. During Monday’s press conference Norvell also addressed statements from Clemson’s coach that the called-off game was just an excuse to avoid a defeat.

FSU football Coach Mike Norvell wants to clear the air: "Friday night is where the concern really escalated. The fact that a symptomatic player participated throughout the course of the week and made the trip to Tallahassee raised a lot of concerns."

WWE Bringing Live Events To Tropicana Field

Nov 20, 2020

Two of pro wrestling's prime time TV shows will be taking up temporary residency in St Petersburg.

Since August, WWE had been broadcasting "Monday Night Raw" and "Smackdown" and most of its pay-per-view events from an interactive set at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Starting Dec. 11, it will move those broadcasts to Tropicana Field, the current home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

An end date has not been announced, but it's expected to coincide with the upcoming Rays baseball season.

Gate River Run To Cap Field At 8K Runners For 2021

Nov 4, 2020
Bob Self / The Florida Times-Union

When Jacksonville's longtime running tradition returns next spring, expect far fewer shoes — the fewest for 16 years — pounding the downtown pavement.

Photo: Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News / Logo: Taxslayer Gator Bowl

TaxSlayer and ESPN announced Friday the 76th annual Gator Bowl college football game will be played Saturday, January 2 at TIAA Bank Field.

The Tampa Bay Rays will be playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2020 World Series championship starting Tuesday — the first time in 12 years the Rays have played for Major League Baseball’s biggest prize.

But Tropicana Field, the home of the Rays, will not be used. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire series will be played in Arlington, Texas.

Sports bars in St. Petersburg that surround Tropicana Field are making plans that will allow fans to come and watch together.

Glynn County

A popular party spot during the annual Georgia-Florida Weekend will be off limits for drinking this year.

Officials with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg have finalized plans with the city to allow fans to attend this year’s event.

The race, originally scheduled in March but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held Oct. 23-25 and will allow up to 20,000 spectators.

"My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and INDYCAR for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time. I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said in a news release.

The Buccaneers will allow season pass members with continuous membership since 1998 or earlier, as well as some family and staff members into Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Team officials estimate that under 10,000 people will be in attendance.

They'll increase seating to about 25% capacity — around 16,000 people — for the Green Bay Packers game on Oct. 18.

Major League Baseball wrapped up its coronavirus-shortened regular season Sunday, and the Tampa Bay Rays — who posted the best record in the American League at 40-20 — will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the playoffs.

The Rays wrapped up the regular season with a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday. The series sweep by the Rays eliminated the Phillies from playoff contention.

FSU Football Coach Tests Positive For COVID-19

Sep 21, 2020

Florida State University’s head football coach, Mike Norvell, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Norvell announced his test results in a press release Saturday. He says the results stem from a test he took Friday, after receiving two negative results from tests he had taken earlier in the week.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays each took steps forward in their attempts to secure championships in their coronavirus-shortened seasons.

The Lightning reached their third Stanley Cup Final in team history Thursday night with a 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Islanders in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final in Edmonton.

Also on Thursday, the Rays clinched an American League playoff berth during a doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.

Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime to send the Lightning past the Islanders.

John Raoux / Associated Press

For fans heading to TIAA Bank Field this Sunday to see the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts, the experience will be different than in past years as the NFL copes with the realities of the pandemic.

UF Study Eyes Long-Term Effects Of Opioid Use In Retired NFL Players

Sep 10, 2020
Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Sedrick Hodge (52) was accused by federal prosecutors in Sept. 2019 of selling oxycodone pills in Cartersville, Ga. A UF study is examining the effects of opioid use in retired NFL players.
Bill Feig / 2005 Associated Press File Photo

Nearly half of former National Football League players who used opioids in 2010 continue to use them today, and nearly 60% of them experience moderate to severe depressive symptoms, a University of Florida study shows.

A day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they would play their first two games in Raymond James Stadium without spectators, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the team to allow fans to attend.

“If the Bucs had fans, I would try to go to the first home game. I would,” DeSantis said during a Thursday roundtable in St. Petersburg about bars and breweries. “I am not going to go if other fans are not allowed.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans hoping to see quarterback Tom Brady at Raymond James Stadium will have to wait until at least Oct. 18.

The team announced Wednesday that they will play their first two home games - Sept. 20 versus the Carolina Panthers and Oct. 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers - without fans in the stands.

That means the first game Bucs fans will be allowed to attend - COVID-19 conditions permitting - would be when the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers come to town in the sixth week of the season.

Jaguars Launch Get Out The Vote Campaign

Sep 1, 2020
Gardner Minshew
Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have kicked off a season-long campaign aimed at getting Floridians to vote.

Appeals Court Upholds Suppression Of Kraft Video

Aug 19, 2020
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (center)
Associated Press Dec. 29, 2019 file photo

A state appeals court Wednesday said hidden-camera videos of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men were improperly obtained and should be suppressed in prostitution cases involving Southeast Florida massage establishments.

The overpass shown in this 2019 RV City file photo has been demolished. That's just one of the changes fans that attend this year's Georgia-Florida game will encounter.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

This year’s Georgia-Florida game will be later than usual and could look significantly different than in years past.

richmond96 / Wikimedia Commons file photo

Fall sports competition at Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida and other Atlantic Sun Conference universities is being postponed due to COVID-19.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday continued to pitch the return of college and high-school sports as a safer environment for student-athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Florida High School Athletic Association looks into pushing the start of fall sports to the end of November, Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging schools to play on.

DeSantis says just as he believes parents should have options when it comes to sending their kids back to the classroom, he thinks parents should choices when it comes to sending kids back to the athletic field.

The statewide high school athletic association decided Thursday to postpone the start of the fall sports by one month, until Aug. 24, after initially voting to proceed as normal despite the recommendations of its own medical advisory board which said it was unsafe due to rising cases of coronavirus across Florida.

The move came after several greater Tampa Bay counties decided on their own to postpone football practice and other sports for a few weeks.

The NFL’s Player’s Association and team executives agreed to eliminate all four preseason games due to unnecessary travel for exhibitions.

TIAA Bank Field
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

More than 700 employees at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, have gotten another round of bad news.

The Washington Redskins on Monday announced the NFL franchise was retiring the team's controversial nickname following a review process that started several weeks ago.

"As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward," the football team said in a statement. "Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review."

Amid New Surge In Florida Coronavirus Cases, Children Resume Sports Across State

Jun 19, 2020

Fifteen-year-old softball player Riley Diedrick wanted nothing more than to race alongside her friends.

Jacksonville Jaguars Players, Coaches, Staff March To Sheriff's Office In Show Of Unity

Jun 5, 2020
Garry Smits / The Florida Times-Union

Jaguars players, front office staff, their families and friends raised their voices with others across the nation Friday when they marched in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Jaguars Return To TIAA Bank Field With COVID-19 Restrictions

May 26, 2020
TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

The Jaguars began a slow return to work Tuesday, but don’t expect to catch a glimpse of players at TIAA Bank Field just yet.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Expect “virtual” or expanded FastPass-style lines, staggered seating on rides, online food ordering and limited crowds when Florida’s major theme parks eventually reopen after being shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Golf fans who would have been watching the Masters in Augusta, Ga. on TV this week will have to wait until November.

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