Tampa Convention Center sunset

SOF Week Military Demonstration Returns to Tampa Convention Center


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SOF Week, a national convention dedicated to Special Operations Forces (SOF), is returning to the Tampa Convention Center, including the highly anticipated military capabilities demonstration, which is open to the public. The convention will take place May 6-10 at the convention center in Downtown Tampa.

This event is expected to draw more than 16,000 attendees to the City of Tampa, including military and government attendees from nearly 80 nations. This event has an estimated economic impact of more than $12 million for the city.

Military boat in demonstration
Military boat pictured during the 2022 SOF Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center.

Special Forces Demonstration

SOF Week 2024 will include the popular “Battle in the Bay” Capabilities Demonstration, a display of military-tactical might that is open to the public. United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will host the demonstration on Wednesday, May 8 at noon on the waterfront outside the Tampa Convention Center. It will highlight the military operations of 10 different nations by land, air, and sea, complete with helicopters, drones, and ships.

The public is invited to view the demonstration. Viewing areas are available along the Tampa Riverwalk outside the Tampa Convention Center, on Bayshore Boulevard, at designated areas on the Harbour Island Bridge, and at venues such as Jackson’s Bistro on Harbour Island. Space is first-come, first-served and will fill up quickly.

The demonstration will include loud noises such as mock gunfire, so ear protection is encouraged. Organizers also warn that it will also contain visual imagery that may be disturbing to some viewers.

Helicopter during military demonstration
Helicopter flies past crowded parking garage during 2022 SOF Capabilities Demonstration, which drew a large crowd to the Tampa Convention Center.

Traffic and Parking Impact

Drivers should expect additional traffic around the Tampa Convention Center during SOF Week.

In addition, the Tampa Convention Center Parking Garage will be closed from Sunday, May 5 to Thursday, May 9.

Due to the SOF Week activity in the Tampa Convention Center Marina, the Crossy Bay Ferry will not operate May 7 through May 9.

Military personnel taking part in the 2022 SOF capabilities demonstration
Military personnel taking part in the 2022 SOF capabilities demonstration

Community Projects

SOF Week will also feature multiple projects to give back to the community. One project will encourage attendees to assemble bags of essential hygiene items for people who are homeless in Tampa.

Global Special Operations Forces Foundation (GSOF) is also launching a new initiative this year called GSOF Gives Back, which helps donate funds to charities and philanthropic nonprofits that support the SOF Community.