As part of the expansion of Rugby League in Florida, the Tampa Inferno team was created in 2013 to compete in the Minor League Rugby League Competition along side the Jacksonville Hatchets, Daytona Gearheads and Orlando Adrenalin. The Inferno were lead by long serving Tampa Krewe player, Billy Nielson, and along with other Krewe players and local enthusiasts, the Inferno proved to be a tough team from day one.
At the end of the 2013 season Southeastern Rugby League LLC. began plans to develop 3 new teams in Florida and Georgia to join the Jacksonville Axemen, and compete in the Elite USA Rugby League Championship. Part of those plans involved meetings with Billy Neilson and other interested members of the Tampa community, that led to the creation of the Tampa Mayhem.
Southeastern Rugby League LLC. saw Tampa as a prime location for Rugby League based on the great number of Rugby teams in the area, as well as the easy access via Air travel from Tampa International, and ground transport due to the I-75 and I-4 Interstates.
Very soon after the inception of the Mayhem team, partnership were found with Pepin Distributing who helped secure the post game partnership with the Green Iguana Gar and Grill. And a second partnership with the Iconic J.C. Newman Cigar company who is Americas oldest family-owned premium cigar makers, and also the last operating cigar factory in Cigar City.
In early 2014 an operating team of Billy Neilson, Dan “Otter” Slagle, David Ulch partnered with Southeastern Rugby League to bring the Tampa Mayhem into the USA Rugby League Championship Competition. The team secured practice and playing facilities at Larry Sanders Field, in the Progress Viallge area of Tampa.
Then in May of 2014, Australian Import Daniel Payne arrived to become the first head coach of the new team. (He also scored the first points for the team on May 31, during the inaugural game in Tampa against the Jacksonville Axemen.)
The team won their first game game on July 19, 2014, at Larry Sanders Field, by a score of 24 to 22 over the Atlanta Rhinos.
The goal of the Mayhem organization is very simple; to provide fans and supporters the highest value for their sporting entertainment dollar. With the similarity of this “Hybrid” Rugby Code to American Football, the Mayhem will put an exciting, hard-hitting, action packed, sporting entertainment product on the field. Games will always offer low cost entry, free entry to children through sponsor partnerships, and inexpensive supporter merchandise and concessions. Our goal is to provide a professional sporting product that can be attended and enjoyed by every person in Tampa and the surrounding areas.
We are also committed to our sponsors, and are thankful for their support. We ask every fan to always consider our sponsors any time they have a need for the product or service provided.
We are dedicated to providing the most positive and professional experience to our players. We believe by providing a culture that fosters a serious approach to the game, those individuals who wish to embrace our great sport with professional attitude, will have the best opportunity to pursue its greatest heights, while enjoying the sport to its fullest extent.