Spring Sports in Florida
What to See in ’23
by JG Walker
Classic Spring Training
Since 1913, Major League Baseball teams and their fans have warmed up for their seasons in Florida. The Grapefruit League tradition continues in 2023 with 15 of the 30 MLB teams—including the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Nationals, and Braves—playing more than 300 Spring Training games between February 25 and March 28. Home fields are clustered along the Gulf Coast from Tampa to North Port and in Palm Beach County, with most ticket prices starting at just $10. In addition, the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins begin their regular-season home schedules in April.
A big Florida sports bonus in 2023 is the return of the World Baseball Classic from March 8-21, when the USA will defend its 2017 title against 19 other international all-star teams. The Pool D matchups, quarterfinals, semifinals, and world championship game will be played at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
For even more major-league action, the NBA’s Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, along with the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, all have home games on the 2023 calendars from January through mid-April.
Swings and Serves
The PGA TOUR makes its annual spring swing through Florida with four big-money tournaments to start the year: the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens (February 23-26), the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando (March 2-5), THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach (March 9-12), and the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor (March 16-19).
Racquet-sports lovers can find plenty of on-court action in Florida this year, including the world’s best tennis professionals at featured ATP/WTA events like the Delray Beach Open (February 10-19) and the Miami Open (March 20-April 1). Pickleball fans can choose from an early-season roster of national-field tournaments that include the Naples Pickleball Championship (February 3-5) and the PPA Florida Open in Boca Raton (March 9-12).
For the best trackside seats, the 2023 Daytona 500 on February 19 highlights the annual series of auto races at the iconic Daytona Motor Speedway. Also featured are major horse-racing events at renowned venues like Hialeah Park, Pompano Park, and Tampa Bay Downs, with Triple Crown hopefuls competing in the Florida Derby on April 1 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.
Get Into Action
The opening months of 2023 aren’t just for spectator sports because you can get into the action with half-marathons, 5Ks, and fun-run road races from Pensacola to Ocala and Orlando to Palm Beach. All of the Florida resort golf courses and racquet clubs are open for business, or you can take off on a fishing charter from marinas on either coast or hop into a kayak to explore the state’s inland waterways. For more about 2023 sporting events and other attractions in The Sunshine State, go to VisitFlorida.com.
Find Your Ideal Home in Florida
There are many reasons people choose to relocate to or retire in Florida. For one, the cost of living is hard to beat. There’s no state income tax, and property prices are notably reasonable. Find your ideal home here.