MLB’s Rays buy USL soccer team Tampa Bay Rowdies



Linkedin Twitter

Image: TB Rowdies

Major League Baseball (MLB) team Tampa Bay Rays are taking a plunge into the soccer business as they recently announced the purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League (USL), who play their home games at Al Lang Stadium – the onetime waterfront spring training home of the Rays.

The sale price for the deal was not disclosed.

The USL said Rays team presidents Matthew Silverman and Brian Auld will become vice chairmen of the Rowdies. They will direct all aspects of the soccer club, along with Rowdies vice president and chief operating officer Lee Cohen, the Associated Press reported.

“The sale is bittersweet,” said Bill Edwards, who had owned the Rowdies since December 2013 and invested millions in stadium improvements.

“When I purchased the Rowdies, they were on the brink of bankruptcy; today they are champions fighting for their rightful spot in the USL Playoffs,” Edwards added. “I saw the potential of the team and what it could mean for downtown St. Petersburg.”

Silverman said the Rays are “committed to continuing the winning trajectory that the Rowdies have been experiencing” under Edwards’ guidance.

Back in 2008, the Rays proposed building a new baseball stadium at the Al Lang site.

Right now, the Rays are working to get funding to leave Tropicana Field for Ybor City, despite the fact that it would be much cheaper for them to stay in St. Pete, where there’re more tax dollars than in Tampa.

The team and Edwards say there’s no connection. “There’s no conspiracy… We made it clear [the Rowdies] had to play here for the next five years, at least and they will and they agreed to it,” he was quoted by Fox News as saying.

Continue to follow Coliseum for latest updates on stadium business news. Coliseum is dedicated towards building the best global community of sports venue executives and professionals.

Watch 150 member-exclusive videos with valuable tips for your venue



« Previous News:
» Next News:


More News

Rockford BMO Harris Bank Center upgrade

Blackhawks to shepherd Rockford Icehogs

Published: April 16, 2021

The National Hockey League (NHL) team Chicago Blackhawks (US) officially purchased the American... » Read more

Scottish fans might be back into stadiums

The wait is over for Scotland football fiends

Published: April 16, 2021

Football fiends in Scotland could be back to the stadia folds before the end of the current... » Read more

Australia Optus Stadium planning for big crowds

Western Australia fans have a field day

Published: April 16, 2021

With the COVID-19 situation getting better in Western Australia, venues across the Australian State... » Read more

Rome gets UEFA approval as host city for EURO 2020

Rome fall in line with UEFA ‘fans’ clause

Published: April 16, 2021

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) received on April 14th from the Italian Football... » Read more


Receive global sports venue NEWS twice a week in your inbox