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Deal for David Beckham’s Miami soccer stadium land gets approval

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David Beckham is a big step closer to bringing Major League Soccer back to Miami. In a 9-4 vote Tuesday, Miami-Dade County commissioners decided to allow Miami Beckham United to buy three acres of county land, the final piece in a nine-acre plot on which a 25,000-seat soccer stadium is planned. It’s a big win for the English soccer icon, who has spent four years — and counting — trying to bring Miami an expansion MLS franchise. “Miami is ready,”…

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Bill Edwards’ Tampa Bay Rowdies referendum cruises to victory; wins with more than 87 percent support

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St. Petersburg voters are well on their way to allowing city officials negotiate a 25-year lease with Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards to expand Al Lang Field capacity from its current 7,000 seating structure to 18,000. With all 93 precincts reporting, the measure is cruising to victory, with 87 percent of residents voting “Yes” compared to 13 percent opposed. A total of 24,589 voted in support of the measure, with only 3,628 against it; 28,217 ballots were cast in total. Voter turnout…

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MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott talks expansion

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Right now, the race for a new MLS expansion team seems to be in a 12-team tie. At least, that was the impression from a 45-minute conference call with MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, who was careful not to handicap the race and to say only good things about the contestants. Abbott did say his Expansion Committee – to be made up of team owners – will want a decision on the next four MLS teams by the end of…

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Rowdies’ Bill Edwards delivers application to MLS bosses

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies aren’t wasting any time in their pursuit of a bid to Major League Soccer. A delegation headed by Rowdies’ owner Bill Edwards delivered the team’s expansion application to MLS headquarters on Monday. Edwards met with Mark Abbott, MLS President and Deputy Commissioner, for around 30 minutes and delivered the unique interactive expansion application, which included a modern rendition of “A Kick in the Grass.” Major League Soccer was very impressed by our unique way of delivering…

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Rowdies face difficult MLS schedule in Suncoast Invitational

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies are serious about joining the MLS. So serious, in fact, they’re giving themselves a taste during the 2017 Suncoast Invitational. The Rowdies are in a field with five MSL teams, including league runner-up Toronto. Montreal was the Eastern Conference runner-up. In addition, the tournament includes D.C. United, the Philadelphia Union and the Chicago Fire. Four of the five MLS teams in this year’s edition of the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational qualified for the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Along…

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Others see Tampa Bay Rowdies as ‘silent assassins’ in MLS expansion race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Among industry insiders, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are known as “silent assassins” in the race for the next Major League Soccer expansion team. While the Rowdies are relative newcomers to the MLS expansion conversation, after formally throwing their hat in the ring December, Patrick Brennan of Cincinnati.com warns that it shouldn’t be misinterpreted as a “hurried and premature” MLS pitch. The Rowdies’ announcement is a result of years of behind-the-scenes work and investment by both the team and owner Bill…

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Does St. Petersburg face tough climb to get MLS team?

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From the outside, it would appear that St. Petersburg has some catching up to do in its pursuit of Major League Soccer, particularly if it wants to be on the front-burner of expansion. St. Petersburg, home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, has announced that it wishes to expand Al Lang and join the MLS. But the website fiftyfiveone.com, evaluating the 10 cities that are scrambling for a team, ranks St. Petersburg only eighth. Owner Bill Edwards has said he would…

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