The Rowdies are back!
Citrus Sports Group, LLC, the ownership group of FC Tampa Bay, today announced that the team name will be changed from FC Tampa Bay to the Tampa Bay Rowdies starting immediately for the 2012 season and beyond.
Citrus Sports Group reached an agreement with Texas-based Classic Ink, Inc. giving Citrus Sports Group immediate exclusive rights and future ownership of the Rowdies trademark.
“The Rowdies name has been synonymous with the highest level of professional soccer in the Tampa Bay area for decades,” said Citrus Sports Group President Andrew Nestor. “We are thrilled to bring it back for soccer fans in Tampa Bay, around the country and around the globe. The Rowdies were Tampa’s first ever pro sports franchise and claimed Tampa Bay’s first pro championship in 1975 winning the NASL Championship. We are appreciative of Classic Ink and their willingness to work with us on this agreement.”
The club unveiled today a new primary team logo, which prominently features the word Rowdies and is a direct link to the original Rowdies logo. The team’s new website will be located at RowdiesSoccer.com. The team will unveil new uniforms and secondary branding leading up to the 2012 season.
The Rowdies are a men’s professional soccer team who enter their third season of play next April as part of the North American Soccer League (NASL). The original Tampa Bay Rowdies came to Tampa in 1975 as an expansion team in the North American Soccer League (NASL). From 1975-1984, the Rowdies were one of the most successful teams in the NASL – winning the Soccer Bowl Championship in 1975 and reaching the finals in 1978 and 1979.
“At the NASL we are very proud of the heritage we have inherited from the old NASL," said NASL Commissioner David Downs. "We’re eager to bring back those great memories wherever we can and this is a great example of doing that. I am absolutely certain that bringing back the Rowdies name is going to ensure continued success.”
On June 19, 2008, a group of investors led by Nestor, David Laxer, and Hinds Howard purchased the rights to a professional soccer franchise and officially brought pro soccer back to Tampa Bay. The new team began play in April 2010, promising to honor the history of the original Rowdies, while at the same time establish their own history and traditions.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies will begin their 2012 North American Soccer League (NASL) season on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at Puerto Rico. The Rowdies host FC Edmonton in the 2012 home opener on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
For more information, visit RowdiesSoccer.com or NASL.com.
Click here to view photographs from the Rowdies Press Conference.