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On eve of Tampa Bay Rowdies vote, owner Bill Edwards announces he’s getting a pacemaker

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

During his presentation to the Suncoast Tiger Bay club last week, former Mayor Rick Baker was asked what would happen to the Tampa Bay Rowdies aggressive plans for the future if ‘Bill Edwards died?”

It was meant to be rhetorical.

Yet on the eve of the crucial vote to give Al Lang Field an extended lease with the Rowdies – essential for St. Petersburg to attract a Major League Soccer franchise – Edwards announced he will be undergoing surgery to install a pacemaker.

“I’m very sad to miss the election night celebration,” Edwards said in a brief statement Monday.  “But I expect a full recovery and to be back in shape and fully charged quickly – ready and excited for the continued MLS expansion effort.”

If (or when) the referendum passes – the measure faces nearly universal support, and scant opposition – Edwards would pick up the tab for construction and expansion of Al Lang, which is estimated at around $80 million.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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