ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – On Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced a campaign to join Major League Soccer.
The team shared “a campaign to drive local support to show Major League Soccer that the club is ready to be the next expansion team,” a spokesperson explained.
In addition, the Rowdies shared renovation and expansion plan for the team’s downtown St. Petersburg home, Al Lang Stadium. The expansion would be privately funded, the team said.
“We are committed to expanding the world’s game right here in downtown St. Petersburg, and we feel strongly that joining Major League Soccer is the next logical step,” team Chairman and CEO Bill Edwards said. “Major League Soccer is watched all over the world … This move will bring national and international exposure to St. Petersburg, while also boosting tourism in the area.”
Edwards said the move would “be a great economic driver for the entire region.”
Information is available here for people interested in getting involved in the effort.
The Rowdies currently play in the North American Soccer League, which is the Division II tier in league system. Major League Soccer is the top tier. The Rowdies are set to play in the United Soccer League in 2017.