Ian Forces Tampa Area Casinos And Sports Teams To Shift Schedules

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on September 29, 2022
Tampa, FL prepares for Hurricane Ian by closing casinos and rescheduling sports

As Hurricane Ian begins its descent on Florida, Tampa area casinos will close their doors and local teams reschedule games. 

As a precaution, college football teams are shifting dates and cities altogether. At the same time, Florida casino operators are closing their doors entirely to wait out the storm. 

Casino and horse track closings

The nature of the storm is not expected to be a category-5 hurricane. Regardless, it can cause severe damage forcing all types of businesses to close. 

Per its website, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino said it would be closing its doors at 8 a.m. Wednesday to non-registered hotel guests. The casino announced it would reopen once conditions improve. 

Hard Rock also noted it is not a designated storm shelter. The property does not have the resources to shelter people or vehicles during storms. 

The Tampa Bay Downs thoroughbred racetrack will temporarily close all week. The racetrack is open for poker and other events during the racing off-season. 

Sporting events rescheduled

The University of Florida in Gainsville moved its Saturday matchup against Eastern Washington to Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon ET at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Florida Gators. 

Over in South Carolina, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks bumped up their game against South Carolina State to Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. ET.

College football isn’t the only sport scrambling to reschedule games. The National Hockey League (NHL) preseason is underway, and the Tampa Bay Lightning is also shifting plans. 

The Lightning canceled a home game Wednesday and is moving its Thursday game against the Nashville Predators to Tennessee. 

Other reschedulings include:

  • South Florida and East Carolina — initially scheduled for Saturday in Tampa will now be played in Boca Raton at Florida Atlantic University stadium. Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. ET.
  • University of Central Florida and Southern Methodist University — initially scheduled for Saturday, the game will move to Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Knights and Mustangs will play in Orlando at FBC Mortgage Stadium. 
Photo by PlayUSA
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

View all posts by Nicholaus Garcia
Privacy Policy