MLB’s Rays purchase USL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are getting into the soccer business.
The team announced Tuesday the purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League, who play their home games at Al Lang Stadium, the onetime waterfront spring training home of the Rays.
The sale price 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 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.