The Suncoast Suns were the first pro hockey team on Florida's west coast and the second in the state, behind the Jacksonville (or Florida) Rockets. They played at the Bayfront Center from 1971-73.
Due to the success of the Jacksonville franchise, who occasionally played games in St. Petersburg, the Eastern Hockey League (EHL)awarded a franchise to St. Petersburg in 1971. The Suns would play two seasons in the Eastern League, with moderate success on the ice, before the league folded. The team moved to the Southern Hockey League (SHL) for the 1973-74 season. But suffering from waning fan support, the Suns would fold in in the middle of that season in December 1973. Their most famous alumni is Jack McCartan, who played on the US Olympic Hockey Team that won gold in 1960.