Tampa played an important role in the Spanish-American War and the fight for Cuban independence.
The U.S. government used the city to house troops because of its ideal location relatively close to Cuba. Thousands of soldiers lived in tents in West Tampa and Tampa Heights, while high-ranking officers stayed at the Tampa Bay Hotel, now the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall. The surge of troops, journalists and tourists helped Tampa in its rise to prominence.
– Alina Hall, B2 Communications