After Irma: Ways to benefit relief efforts during weekend events in Tampa Bay

TAMPA BAY, Fla. - Following Hurricane Irma, Tampa Bay continues its cleanup during the aftermath of the storm. Houses are damaged, neighborhoods have flooded and many are still without power. 

After nonstop coverage of Irma, many in the Bay Area are searching for a sense of normalcy. 

If you feel like you’ve been cooped up inside for far too long or just want to take your mind off things for a while, check out these events this weekend that help benefit Hurricane Irma victims here locally, and across the state of Florida. 

Friday, September 15

No. 22 USF Bulls vs. Illinois Fighting Illini  

The 22nd-ranked South Florida Bulls will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at Raymond James Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m. In the wake of Hurricane Irma's impact on Florida, USF will provide complimentary admission to Friday's football game to first responders and their families. Florida high school football teams will also get in free since many of their games were canceled as a result of the storm. The game will air on ESPN. 

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox 

After moving their home series to New York ahead of Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay Rays are excited to be back in Florida. The Rays will host the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field for a weekend series starting Friday at 7:10 p.m. Fans wishing to donate funds to benefit the victims of Hurricane Irma in the Tampa Bay area may do so at youcaring.com/RaysIrmaRelief.

Saturday, September 16

FAMU Tampa Classic at Raymond James Stadium 

The FAMU Tampa Classic at Raymond James Stadium will still kickoff on Saturday. Florida A&M will play host to Tennessee State and all first responders will be given free tickets, along with their families. Donations for relief efforts will also be accepted at the game. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. 

Brad Paisley performs at MIDFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater 

Brad Paisley is still scheduled to perform at the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend! The show begins at 7 p.m. with tickets starting at $25. Donations will be accepted for Hurricane Irma victims at the venue. 

Pierce Street Market in Clearwater 

Pierce Street Market is a waterfront local makers market with over 100 vendors and food trucks. Visit for a wide array of vendors including produce, fresh flowers, jewelry, clothes, vintage items, handmade artists, live music, food trucks and more! You can find the market on the waterfront in Downtown Clearwater under the Memorial Causeway Bridge. Pierce Street Market will be accepting donations to help with hurricane relief. Please visit PierceStreetMarket.com for more info. 

Sunday, September 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears 

Following last week’s canceled game due to Hurricane Irma, the Bucs are ready to hit the field! Tampa Bay will host the Chicago Bears for the season opener at Raymond James at 1 p.m. The Glazer Family, who owns the Buccaneers, have already donated $1 million to Red Cross Hurricane Irma relief efforts. Donations will also be accepted at the game. 

Busch Gardens offering buy one, get one free tickets 

If you’re needing a break from the stress of Hurricane Irma, Busch Gardens is offering Florida residents a BOGO offer for single-day tickets. The offer runs from September 13-17 and donations will be accepted to help with hurricane relief. 

Relax at the beach!

If you’re needing to just relax and not open the pocketbook, visit one of our beautiful beaches. Cleanup crews have been working around the clock to make sure the beaches have been restored in a timely fashion. Grab a towel and the sunscreen! It’s time to soak up the sun and get back to Florida life in Tampa Bay, even if it's just for a little bit. 

If there's an event this weekend that benefits Hurricane Irma relief efforts, let us know! Email events to Zack.Perry@wfts.com. 

Taste & See

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