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

China cancels Asian Cup 2023

COVID make mincemeat of China sport calendar

Published: May 17th, 2022

China will no longer host the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to the COVID-19 situation in the country,... » Read more

Villareal CF new stadium

Villarreal CF ambitious venue makeover plans

Published: May 17th, 2022

The LaLiga club Villarreal CF (Spain) presented refurbishment plans of its residence on May 11th... » Read more

NHL Global Series Challenge Germany 2022

2022 NHL Global Series Challenge™ fixtures

Published: May 17th, 2022

The National Hockey League’s (US) San Jose Sharks are headed to Germany for the 2022 NHL Global... » Read more

World Rugby host locations announced

World Rugby ‘game-changer’ strategic plan

Published: May 17th, 2022

The World Rugby has confirmed the locations for the next three women’s and two men’s Rugby... » Read more

Receive global sports venue NEWS twice a week in your inbox