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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 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.

The 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 Rowdies’ ticket sales are designed to help show MLS its fan support. For information on how to become a 2017 Season Ticket Member, call  (727) 222-2000.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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