Jun 15, 2022 - Business

Denver vs. Tampa: The battle for the best NHL city

Denver's mountains and Tampa's trolley cars.

Denver's mountains and Tampa 's trolley cars. Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images

Like most competitions, the Stanley Cup Final is about more than just the game.

Why it matters: The victorious city and state get major bragging rights. (Tampa’s repeat hockey and football championships led to the nickname “Champa,” for example.)

Quick take: John has lived in both Tampa and Denver, and he argues it's barely a contest for which is the best.

Here's his city scorecard:

Best scenery: Continental Divide vs. St. Pete Beach

  • White sand is sticky. White-capped mountains are beautiful. Denver's landscape wins.

Best quarterback: Russell Wilson vs. Tom Brady

  • Brady's seven Super Bowl titles best Wilson's single ring … for now. Champa wins.

Best ballpark: Coors Field vs. Tropicana Field

  • The open-air stadium with its party deck and epic sunsets is far better than the claustrophobic dome. Denver all the way.

Best weather: 300 days of sunshine vs. 300 days of sunshine

  • Both claim the same number of sun-filled days, and it's a push when it comes to snow vs. humidity. Call it a draw.

Best state song: "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver vs. Jimmy Buffet’s "Margaritaville"

  • The line that starts "friends around the campfire" easily tops "wasting away again." Denver for the win.

Iconic food: Denver omelet vs. a Cubano sandwich

  • Pork, ham, mustard, cheese and pickles — with Cuban bread — is everything you need. Tampa ekes out a win.

Best brewery: Bierstadt vs. Cigar City

  • The Denver beer scene is so diverse and strong that Tampa can't compete. A vote for the Mile High City.

Best parade: Western Stock Show vs. Gasparilla

  • The invasion of middle-aged adults dressed as pirates at Gasparilla, and the debauchery that follows, is actually a sight to see. Arrr, Tampa takes this one.

Best book: "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac vs. "Skinny Dip" by Carl Hiaasen

  • Kerouac's iconic descriptions of Colfax Avenue barely edge out Hiaasen's unmatchable humor. Read both, but Denver wins.

Best celebration song: "Chase the Sun" vs. "Goons"

  • Denver's song played after goals is so good that I could listen to it for three hours. Denver scores.

The bottom line: Tampa is a decent place to visit for a weekend, but Denver is where you want to live.


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