ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the calendar turns to the year 2020, we look back at the biggest headlines from across Tampa Bay during the last decade. 

From forces of nature to high-profile crimes, to politics and growth, Tampa Bay has seen a lot happen in the last ten years. 

Here’s our list of the top Tampa Bay stories of the decade.

And note this: As the U.S. Constitution, this list is a "living document." If there’s a big story from the last 10 years that we’re missing here, please let us know on the 10News Facebook page and we’ll make sure to add it.

Growth and evelopment

The Tampa Bay area saw tremendous growth during the decade. Consider the redevelopment of the St. Petersburg pier to the opening of the new Dali Museum and new construction throughout the region. 

It has all helped attract new major events, such as the Skyway 10K.

RELATED: Now hiring! Job positions open as St. Pete Pier nears completion

RELATED: Salvador Dalí Museum plans $38 million expansion

Political wins

In 2018, Dunedin-native Ron DeSantis was elected Florida governor. In 2019, Jane Castor won election to become the first openly gay mayor in Tampa’s history.

RELATED: Ron DeSantis elected Florida governor, defeating Andrew Gillum

RELATED: Former police Chief Jane Castor elected mayor of Tampa

Crime stories

There were numerous high-profile criminal cases, including the Casey Anthony trial (which had a jury from Pinellas County), the Seminole Heights killings, the Curtis Reeves “Stand Your Ground” case and the arrests of not one, but two Port Richey mayors.

RELATED: Caylee Anthony would have been 14 today; It's been 8 years since her mother's acquittal

RELATED: Port Richey, erased? State lawmakers propose dissolving city after mayoral mess

Mass shootings

Mass shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and a SunTrust bank in Sebring added to a national conversation about gun violence.

RELATED: Demolition of bank branch where 5 women were killed nearly done

RELATED: After losing students and colleagues in Parkland shooting, teacher finds healing in writing

Mother nature

Of all the storms to impact Tampa Bay in the last decade, 2017’s Hurricane Irma was the biggest. In 2013, a massive sinkhole in Seffner swallowed Jeffrey Bush while he slept in his bed, making national headlines and changing the way we think about sinkholes in Florida.

And 2018’s red tide bloom along the gulf coast was the worst the area had seen in years.

RELATED: Nothing but bricks remain: This school still is rebuilding 2 years after Hurricane Irma

RELATED: Florida officials unveil website to monitor water quality


In 2017, Sarasota-based Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed down after a 146-year run. The following year, in 2018, an acrobat performing in Cirque du Soleil’s "Volta" fell to his death in front of a live audience in Tampa.

RELATED: Curtain falls on final Ringling Bros. circus performance

RELATED: Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Tampa show; 'Volta' canceled


Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium played host to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game, an instant classic in which Clemson beat Alabama on a last-second touchdown. 

The Rays, meanwhile, continued to search for a new home after years of poor attendance at Tropicana Field. 

And the Lightning rebuilt themselves into a perennial contender, dominating regular season play and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015.

RELATED: College playoff, big money coming to Tampa Bay

RELATED: TIMELINE: Tampa Bay Rays' stadium saga

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