The Tampa Bay Storm and Detroit Drive met in ArenaBowl VII at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. These two teams had met in ArenaBowl V with Tampa coming out on top.
Detroit came back to win ArenaBowl VI, so they were looking for their second consecutive title. It was also their third win in four tries. ArenaBowl VII was also their sixth consecutive appearance – they only missed ArenaBowl I.
Tampa got off to a 10-0 start at the end of the first quarter. The lone touchdown came when Storm quarterback Jay Gruden found Stevie Thomas from 15 yards out.
Detroit managed a field goal on the first drive of the second quarter, but that was it. Following a Tampa field goal, defensive lineman Keith Browner recovered a Detroit fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Tampa went up 20-3 at that point.
From there on out, the two teams exchanged touchdowns the rest of the way. Every time Detroit scored, Tampa would have an answer. The Storm would win ArenaBowl VII by a final score of 51-31. They knocked off Detroit in the ArenaBowl for the second time.
Gruden (28-32 passing, 204 yards, three touchdowns) was named the game’s MVP. Browner was named the Ironman of the game for his fumble return touchdown.