The Tampa & Orlando Neighborhoods Dominated By Big Name Athletes

Avila Golf & Country Club Isleworth Golf & Country ClubThe 2015 Stanley Cup Final's presence in Tampa highlights what a major epicenter of sports the Central Florida region has become. Though the area has pro teams in all four major sports (3 in Tampa/St. Pete & 1 in Orlando), as well as a bevy of MLB spring training headquarters; perhaps its greatest influence involves the number of former and current big name athletes who call the area home.

Interestingly, the bulk of these I-4 Corridor sports figures live within two high end neighborhoods, one of which is located in Tampa, with the other lying near Orlando.

Built in 1980, the gated Avila Golf & Country Club sits in the northern part of Tampa, 12 miles north of downtown Tampa, 11 miles from the Raymond James Stadium/Steinbrenner Field hub, 16 miles from Tampa International Airport and 23 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.    

Past and present residents include Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy, Warren Sapp, Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter. Jeter now calls Tampa's Davis Islands community home.

87 miles east of Avila stands the adjacent locales of Windermere and Lake Butler, Florida.  Located 11 miles southwest of downtown Orlando, 10 miles north of the entrance to The Walt Disney World Resort (actual Disney grounds significantly closer) and 5 miles west of Universal Studios Orlando, the hallmarks of this geography are the three exclusive golf course communities (Isleworth Golf & Country Club, The Golden Bear Club, Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge), surrounded by a series of lakes.

Past and present residents include Shaquille O'Neal, Ken Griffey, Jr., Vince Carter, Barry Larkin, Grant Hill, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods. Tiger's infamous argument with now ex-wife Elin occurred within the walls of the Isleworth development.

With year-round warm weather, a lack of state income tax and perhaps a little quieter lifestyle than one would find in and around South Florida, it makes perfect sense that the above athletes would choose to call these destinations home.