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Tale of the Tape: Tampa Bay vs. Detroit

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

With Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s First Round Stanley Cup Playoffs game against the Detroit Red Wings less than 48 hours away, we thought it might be fun to compare the two cities, away from the sports arena, to find out which comes out on top.

Just like hockey, Tampa Bay enters the matchup as the favorite on paper, but can it come through in the clutch?

The breakdown.


Tampa Bay – The annual high temperature in Tampa Bay is 81.7 degrees. The low? 65.

Detroit – The high temperature averages 82 degrees during July but drops to 31 in January with lows in the teens. Detroit gets just 89 total hours of sunshine in December.

Winner – Tampa Bay (in a landslide): There’s a reason people from the Midwest move to Florida when they retire and not vice versa.

Known as

Tampa Bay – The cigar capital of the world

Detroit – The world’s automotive center

Winner – none: Neither city produces much of its most famous product anymore, so too close to call this category.

A river runs through it

Tampa Bay – Hillsborough River

Detroit – Detroit River

Winner – Tampa Bay: Can you canoe down the Detroit River while paddling next to an alligator? Didn’t think so.

Arena address

Tampa Bay – 401 Channelside Dr.

Detroit – 19 Steve Yzerman Dr.

Winner – Detroit: OK, that one’s pretty cool. Touché, Detroit.


Tampa Bay – St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, etc.

Detroit – Belle Isle Park

Winner – Tampa Bay: Detroit’s Belle Isle Park is a nearly 1,000-acre state park in the middle of the Detroit River between the city and Windsor, Ontario, best enjoyed between June and late August. Tampa Bay boasts miles and miles of pristine white sand beaches frequented by vacationers, spring breakers and international travelers throughout the year. Is this even a comparison?


Tampa Bay – The Big Guava

Detroit – The Motor City

Winner – Detroit: Tampa’s Big Guava moniker sounds cool, but it doesn’t really make sense as the city isn’t a producer of commercially-grown Guava.

Famous bridge

Tampa Bay – Sunshine Skyway

Detroit – Ambassador Bridge

Winner – Tampa Bay: While the Ambassador is notable because it connects the mainland United States to Canada, nothing beats a drive to the top of the Sunshine Skyway, with its sweeping views of Tampa Bay and neighboring islands, especially as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Favorite food

Tampa Bay – Cuban sandwich

Detroit – Detroit-style pizza

Winner – Tampa Bay: Pizza was already perfected by New York City and Chicago. Detroit just made their deep dish square. Not very original if you ask us. The Cuban perfectly combines ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles between two pieces of crunchy-on-the-outside, buttery-inside Cuban bread.

Musical contribution to the world

Tampa Bay – Death metal

Detroit – Motown

Winner – Detroit: Yeah, sorry about that one, world. Our apologies.

Final count: Tampa Bay wins 5-3-1. While closer than expected, Tampa Bay pulls through in fine fashion. Here’s hoping the Lightning can continue the region’s dominance over our friends to the north on the ice.

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