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Tampa Bay Rowdies hosting Referendum Watch Party at Al Lang

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Petersburg voters are heading to the polls to decide on extending a 25-year at Al Lang Stadium lease to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Tuesday’s referendum, financed by Rowdies owner Bill Edwards, has become a fundamental component in St. Petersburg’s bid for a Major League Soccer franchise.

In what will (most likely) be a victory celebration of this historic vote, the Rowdies are inviting fans, sponsors and other community members to a free Referendum Watch Party beginning 6:30 p.m. at Al Lang.

Facing little opposition and supported by a broad swath of the community — as well as the Tampa Bay Times — the vote to allow the St. Pete City Council to negotiate a longer lease Lies rowdies is expected to bring the team one step closer to #MLS2StPete. If approved, Edwards and a group of investors will then spend as much as $80 million in upgrades to Al Lang, more than doubling capacity to 18,000 seats. The project is part of a larger bid to be one of the four cities vying for an MLS franchise.

Hosted by the Rowdies, the event features The Edwards Group President and former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, one of the proposal’s most vocal cheerleaders.

Tampa Bay is the largest television market without an MLS team.

Al Lang Stadium is at 230 1st St SE, in St. Petersburg.


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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