Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays have added their town’s soccer club, purchasing the USL Championship’s Tampa Bay Rowdies from owner Bill Edwards for an undisclosed amount.
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The Rays will also get the Rowdies’ stadium contract for Al Lang Stadium, and the story has stoked interest in Major League Soccer potentially coming to Tampa and the Rays building a new stadium.
The Rowdies began as an NASL club in 1975, playing in several leagues before folding in 1993. The club was reborn in 2008, and purchased by Edwards in 2013. This past season was its second in the USL. From RowdiesSoccer.com:
“We are committed to continuing the upward trajectory that the Rowdies have been experiencing under Bill’s visionary leadership,” said Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman. “The Tampa Bay Rowdies are a legendary soccer team, and we look forward to extending their legacy and prominence. We are eager to get to know Ralph’s Mob and all the Rowdies fans, to growing soccer in St. Petersburg and throughout Tampa Bay, and of course, bringing home a championship, which could be imminent!”