Tampa Bay Rowdies fans will have a new watering hole to celebrate both pre- and post-game. The Rowdies Den will host its Grand Opening this Saturday.
The trademark neon green lines the building that once was Midtown Sundries. Rowdies owner and St. Pete entrepreneur Bill Edwards bought the shuttered sports bar and announced in February he’d be turning it into a soccer paradise.
His original goal was to open by the Rowdies home opener on April 11. He blew that plan out of the water and has been enjoying a soft opening this week.
The Grand Opening corresponds to the Rowdies’ first game this season. Edwards will host a watch party at the Den as they take on the San Antonio Scorpions.
The more than 4,000-square-foot bar will boast 30 televisions playing soccer matches from all over the world. They’ll also have TVs tuned to other sports, like American football, as well.
The bar is a win-win for Edwards and his soccer franchise. Not only will the bar serve as an additional revenue stream, it will also go a long way in boosting Rowdies recognition.
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the Rowdies fan group, Ralph’s Mob, has already pledged to use the Rowdies Den as their home base. Fans had previously gathered at MacDinton’s on First Avenue North. The new location is much closer to Al Lang Stadium, where the Rowdies play.
Edwards also purchased the four levels of parking in MacNulty Parking Garage above the bar. Edwards said he plans to dedicate the 500 spaces for Rowdies fans during games.
Those spaces will still be available to the public when the Rowdies aren’t playing.