Our community has supported our Nation’s military for hundreds of years. Our past, present and future is steeped in the time-honored traditions of military service dating back to an army post in downtown Tampa in 1824 . Thus, we are grateful to be presented with the opportunity to celebrate our Nation’s military heroes October 22-26 2019.
Tampa Bay is the perfect backdrop for everyone to relax and experience the many sites our area has to offer. Our vibrant, growing metropolitan region of over three million people embraces and cares for a community of nearly 400,000 veterans and their families. We are home to world-class beaches, professional sports teams, theme parks, zoos, museums, award-winning restaurants and a vast array of entertainment everyone can enjoy.
Tampa Bay’s Military Community
The establishment of Fort Brooke in 1824 near the mouth of the Hillsborough River (and adjacent to the site of the convention) was just the beginning of the region’s military tradition. Tampa Bay’s own military base, MacDill Air Force Base, established in 1939, has been a vital part of America’s defense throughout its existence. Hosted by the Air Force’s 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill is currently home to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), and nearly 30 other tenant units.
The Military Community is an essential part of the Tampa Bay area, not only for the work done to secure our nation, but for the local economic revenue its presence continues to give to the community. Located near Tampa’s business centers, the city and MacDill have a supportive relationship that’s resulted in a $3 billion economic impact to the area.
We see our members of the military, veterans and families as valued members of our community. In fact, we’ve been awarded the Abilene Trophy as most supportive Air Force city in Air Mobility Command multiple times and have recently been ranked one of the top places for veterans to live. More than 400,000 veterans have made the Tampa Bay region their home including over 150 retired general and flag officers. Spouses, children and grandchildren are integral to the military community, and we recognize the sacrifice and support all these individuals have rendered over the years.
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Experience Tampa's dynamic downtown with at Tampa’s Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. This beautifully transformed, waterfront hotel sits adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center and is steps from the Tampa Riverwalk, Florida Aquarium, the evolving Sparkman Wharf (formerly Channelside) and Amalie Arena.
Honoring our nation’s unsung heros, the Merchant Marines, is the American Victory Ship, docked behind the Florida Aquarium. Learn more about Tampa Bay’s place in Florida and military history as you explore the Tampa Bay History Museum. And these are but a few things to do as you honor our nation’s most valiant heroes.