City Night

Tampa Convention Center Readies to Showcase Military Capabilities During Today's SOFIC Demonstration

This information is 3 years 11 months old and may no longer be accurate.

Today, the Tampa Convention Center is transforming into a military warzone for the 2018 NDIA SOFIC demonstration. 

The 2018 SOFIC military capabilities demonstration will take place today, May 23rd, at 1:30pm just outside the Tampa Convention Center near The Sail. This demonstration brings together military personnel from around the world to highlight their joint capabilities by land, air, and sea.

This unique experience allows the general public to witness incredible military performances, including the maneuvering of low-flying helicopters, repelling, parachuting, stealth, and a hostage rescue involving Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

During the demonstration, attendees can expect loud noises, high winds, and flashes of light from helicopters, rifles (containing fake ammunition), explosions, and other elements. All of these elements are designed to be safe for the general public, however, we urge all attendees to maintain a safe distance from the demonstration and to remain in the public viewing areas.

Due to the nature of the event, The Sail will be closed until 3pm today, but the public is welcome to watch from The Sail’s designated viewing areas. An “enemy village” has also been constructed near The Sail restrooms, and will serve as the focus of the rescue mission.

This demonstration is one of the highlights of this year’s SOFIC conference at the Tampa Convention Center, which is currently in session. As a result, parking will be limited near our facility and we urge attendees to allow for extra time during their commutes.

Our convention center garage will likely fill quickly, so we encourage attendees to consider the following parking options:

  • Ft Brooke Garage (107 N. Franklin Street): $1.60/hr or $9.50 over 5hrs
  • South Regional Garage (301 Channelside Drive): $1.60/hr or $9.50 over 5hrs
  • Port of Tampa Garage: rates subject to change

For more parking information, visit the City of Tampa Parking page.

The Tampa Streetcar and the Downtowner also offer affordable and convenient transportation with drop-off right in front of our facility.

For more information about SOFIC or the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), visit and