Returning for the 17th year, cosplayers of every fandom are heading to the Tampa Convention Center this Thursday for Florida’s Largest Anime Convention. This year’s theme is Virtue vs Vice, a staple theme in anime & video games throughout time. Whether you lean in towards temptation or stay true to your values, this year’s programming is full of unique must-sees. You don’t want to miss:
- Cosplay Lip Sync Battle: Choose a song that speaks to your cosplay and sing your heart out.
- Fire Show: This themed live-fire performance is sure to amaze with fire-breathing, juggling & fire-dancing.
- LARP Dungeon: Grab your squad to slay monsters, solve puzzles, avoid traps, and more.
- Rhyme nor Reason: This story-driven cosplay variety show features exciting twists and turns, song and dance, action, and more as you immerse yourself in the dreams of your favorite characters and watch the story unfold.
- Kaiju Big Battel: This amalgamation of nostalgia, pop culture, pro-wrestling, and the utterly strange has been called “one of the weirdest things you’ll ever pay to see” by MTV News.
- Wide variety of panels, screenings, meetups & more!
With over 10,000 guests attending Metrocon, visitors can expect increased traffic congestion around the Tampa Convention Center. The Tampa Convention Center parking garage is expected to fill quickly due to the number of visitors; however, there are several great parking options within a few blocks of our building.
Our top parking recommendations include:
The Fort Brooke Garage is a large parking garage centrally located in downtown Tampa, just a few blocks north of our facility. Visitors can either take a short walk from the garage to the Tampa Convention Center, or ride the Tampa Streetcar from stop 11 – Downtown Tampa Whiting Street Station (located just outside the garage at the corner of Whiting Street and Franklin St) to stop 10 – Dick Greco Plaza Transportation Center (located just across from our building next to The Sail). The Tampa Streetcar is free on Saturdays.
The South Regional Garage is located just one block east of our facility and serves both the Tampa Convention Center and Amalie Arena.
For our full parking guide, including more parking suggestions, ADA parking, and more, click here.
Getting around Downtown Tampa is easy thanks to the many modes of transportation available from the Tampa Convention Center. Below we’ve outlined some of the most popular and fun ways to get around Tampa while you visit for a convention.
Tampa Streetcar: The historic Tampa Streetcar is a fun, convenient, and unique way to travel between Tampa’s Downtown, Ybor City, and the Channel District. Stop 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) is located just across from our facility and The Sail along Franklin Street.
Visitors can hop aboard and ride to stop 11 (Whiting Street Station) to access the Fort Brooke garage or explore the heart of Downtown Tampa, including many restaurants and attractions.
Alternatively, you can take the Tampa Streetcar in the opposite direction to visit Channel District attractions like the Tampa Bay History Center and the Florida Aquarium, or you can continue on to Ybor City, a historic and trendy part of Tampa known for its Cigar City roots.
The Tampa Streetcar is a great, FREE option to get around Downtown Tampa & Ybor City. For route information, visit http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org.
Downtowner: The Downtowner is a FREE rideshare service available throughout downtown Tampa. To reserve a ride, all you have to do is download the app and input your destination. The downtowner recently expanded their fleet to include several Tesla vehicles. ADA accessible rides are also available through this service.
To download the app and to learn more, visit http://ridedowntowner.com/
Pirate Water Taxi: The Pirate Water Taxi is a City of Tampa attraction and mode of transportation all in one! Docked just outside at the Tampa Convention Center boating docks (near The Sail), the Pirate Water Taxi follows a route along the Hillsborough River and the Tampa Riverwalk.
With a day pass, you can hop on/off the water taxi as many times as you’d like to visit some of Tampa’s top attractions, including Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Glaser Children’s Museum, the Straz Center, Waterworks Park (near the popular Ulele restaurant and Armature Works food hall), and more.
To purchase a pirate water Taxi pass, visit www.piratewatertaxi.com.
Coast Bikes: Coast Bikes is a bike sharing service operating in Tampa. Bikes can be rented from, and returned to, any of the racks in the city. A rack is conveniently located just outside our Franklin Street entrance for those wishing to rent a bike.
Coast Bikes offers a fun, convenient, and energy efficient way to travel around Tampa’s Downtown. If you rent a bike, we highly recommend cruising along the Tampa Riverwalk to enjoy the waterfront and reach other City of Tampa hotspots.
For more information and for hourly rates, visit www.coastbikeshare.com.
Things to Do in Tampa:
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Tampa before or after your convention, we’ve listed some fun events and area attractions below.
Explore the Tampa Riverwalk: Step out from the Tampa Convention Center and onto the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a 2.4 mile waterfront path along the Hillsborough River. Considered a centerpiece in Tampa’s Downtown this beautiful pathway connects some of Tampa’s top attractions, including the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Bay History Center, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, and more.
The Sail: Hungry? Our outdoor, waterfront bar, The Sail, is a great place to grab a bite to eat or drink with friends! The sail is family-friendly (and dog-friendly), with menu favorites for everyone. Click here to see their full menu.
Water Attractions at the Tampa Convention Center Boating Docks: Several businesses have dropped anchor at the Convention Center boating docks, making them their home. If you’re visiting for Metrocon, be sure to check out some of the attractions in your free time, including the Pirate Water Taxi, eBoats, Tampa Bay Water Bike Company, Riverwalk Boating Company, the Tampa Bay Fun Boat, and the Kraken Cycle Boat.
Visit Ybor City: Ybor City is a trendy and history part of Tampa that is known for its Cigar City roots. Here, visitors can get a taste of local flavor from unique restaurants, or shop for souvenirs from local stores.
Tickets, Schedule & More Metrocon Info:
Now that you know a bit more about the Tampa Convention Center and the surrounding area, you’re ready to take on Metrocon 2019! Although pre-registration has closed, tickets may still be purchased at the door. For more information about Metrocon & to see the schedule, visit metroconventions.com.