Tampa’s Tandem

Adamo Drive and Raymond James Stadium don’t typically get mentioned in tandem. Recently, however, they were part of a very high profile, successful Tampa parlay.

Last Monday Ikea, the international furniture retailer, announced that it would be calling the intersection of Adamo and 22nd Street home for its 29th store in the U.S. and third in Florida. The massive, 353,000-square-foot retail location will be its largest in the state.

Ikea’s business model, which assumes a regional shopping base within a radius of 60 miles, bodes well for favorably impacting Ybor City and downtown. It would be the first major retailer anywhere near downtown since Maas Brothers called it an era in 1991.

Now call it a vote of confidence for the Tampa market. It’s more than condos.

The day before, the Ray-Jay hosted a soccer match between the national men’s teams of the U.S. and Ecuador. It was the first time in 12 years that the American national team had played here. The crowd of 31,500 was the largest to watch an international friendly match in this state. Ever.

It meant that the U.S. squad, which outscored Ecuador, 3-1, wasn’t the only winner. Word now is that Tampa has positioned itself for more of these nationally televised, international “friendlies” – plus more credibility as a potential World Cup venue.

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