Updated May 28, 2024 - News

Downtown duel: Tampa has it better than St. Pete

Illustration of St. Pete and Tampa Bay next to eeach other with "vs." in between.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

We asked our readers to settle the debate: Which downtown is better, Tampa's or St. Pete's? Almost 2,000 votes later, we have an answer.

  • Neither side can claim a blowout. The lead swapped more than a few times — with margins sometimes as slim as 60 votes.

The verdict: Downtown Tampa eeked out a win, earning 51% of the vote to Downtown St. Pete's 49%.

Why it matters: Downtowns are the "spiritual core" of a city, driving the local economy and drawing visitors, new residents and national recognition.

  • And Tampa Bay's downtowns have changed dramatically over the last two decades.

State of play: St. Petersburg has gone from "God's waiting room" to an arts and culture mecca with national acclaim.

😏 Yacob's gloat: Look, I am a proud Tampeño. I held the line even as Ben T. Davis got pitted against Clearwater's Sand Key in our Best Beach bracket.

  • We managed to stave off our first upset, Tampa, whether because of my 30 words of encouragement or the billions invested to breathe life into our downtown.
  • Maybe next time, St. Pete, maybe.

Have an idea for Tampa and St. Pete institutions we should feature in our next installment? Or just want to hate on your other side of the bay? We're here for it.

📬 Shoot us a message at [email protected].

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