Major League Soccer President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott receives the Tampa Bay Rowdies' expansion application at MLS headquarters on Monday, January 30, 2017
NEW YORK (January 30, 2017) – Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Rowdies took another step towards bringing Major League Soccer to downtown St. Petersburg by successfully delivering their expansion application to MLS headquarters in New York City, NY.
The trip included a stop at Times Square to check out the #MLS2StPete billboard that has been catching eyes and making waves for the past week at one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards was at the forefront of the delegation that traveled to Manhattan on Monday morning. The group included Rowdies executives, along with members of Ralph’s Mob and pediatric cancer survivor and honorary member of the club, Cole Eicher.
Edwards met with Mark Abbott, MLS President and Deputy Commissioner, for around 30 minutes and delivered the unique interactive expansion application, which includes a modern rendition of “A Kick in the Grass.”
“Major League Soccer was very impressed by our unique way of delivering our application,” said Edwards. “We’ve worked very hard on all fronts to cover every aspect of the application that was sent to us by MLS just over a month ago. This is a very important step in the process and I believe our application will set us apart as the top potential expansion market.”
The Rowdies’ MLS expansion application was designed to represent the Tampa Bay area and honor the club’s rich history.
The application included details and renderings of the privately funded renovation and expansion plans to Al Lang Stadium and the proposed ownership group led by Edwards.
Extensive examples of community support were included in the application, highlighted by more than 200 letters of support from politicians, local celebrities, fans and more.
Along with a detailed history of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the application featured several videos showing off the Tampa Bay area and its one-of-a-kind scenery.
While in New York City, Cole Eicher met with MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, to share his story and talk about how Gold Together has worked with the Rowdies over the last two years to donate over $200,000 to childhood cancer awareness.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their #MLS2StPete campaign in December 2016, only to be named as one of the eleven candidates in the running for a Major League Soccer franchise less than two weeks later. The campaign also includes a privately funded renovation and expansion plan to Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. For more information, visit MLS2StPete.com.
The best way to show that Tampa Bay is ready for a Major League Soccer franchise is to secure 2017 season tickets. For information on how to become a 2017 Season Ticket Member, call (727)222-2000 or click here.