LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 18: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts after dunking against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 18, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
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It has happened a number of times in sports history. Most recently, Tampa played host to two major professional sports league champions – the NFL’s Buccaneers and the NHL’s Lightning. Each team won its respective league championship at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
In 2022, the state of Florida has the opportunity to do it again. The Miami Heat are in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals and the Florida Panthers, who call the Miami metropolitan area home, are in the NHL’s conference semifinals. Could both teams bring championships home to south Florida?
If they do, it would be an historic achievement. While several cities have had multiple sports champions in the same season, there has never been a city that has had both the NBA and the NHL champion in the same season.
City of Champions History
In the history of the four major North American sports leagues – NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA – there have been 18 instances of a city/metropolitan area winning multiple championships in the same season. As mentioned, Tampa was the most recent.
The city with the most multiple championships in the same season is New York with seven. The most recent was in 2000 when the Yankees won the World Series and the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup. Five of the seven occurrences happened before 1957.
No city has ever claimed more than two major sports titles in the same season. In 2020 when the Bucs and the Lightning won their titles, the Tampa Bay Rays also played for the World Series but lost. The only city to ever have all four of its major sports teams play for championships in the same season is Philadelphia. In 1980, the Phillies, 76ers, Eagles, and Flyers all played for their respective league championship. Only the Phillies won.
The NBA-NHL Double
The NBA-NHL double – a city/metro area winning both championships in the same season – has yet to be done. There have, however, been some close calls. The most recent came in 2003. The New York metropolitan area was home to both the New Jersey Devils and the then-New Jersey Nets.
The Devils would go on to battle the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a seven-game Stanley Cup series. New Jersey shut out Anaheim in Games 1 and 2 and then shut them out again 3-0 in the deciding Game 7. The Nets would end up getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs who won their third NBA title in five years.
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images)
The city of Chicago, which does not have multiple championships in the major sports, almost put itself on the list in 1992. The Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls were in the midst of their six NBA titles in eight seasons. The Bulls beat Portland 4-2 that year for the championship.
The Blackhawks made it to the Stanley Cup finals. They didn’t fare so well. The Pittsburgh Penguins would win their second consecutive Stanley Cup beating the Blackhawks in four straight. The 1991-92 season still marks the only time the Blackhawks and Bulls were in the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals in the same season.