tampa bay rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: AUGUST 10, 2013: The Tampa Bay Rowdies match against the New York Cosmos at Al Lang Field. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Rowdies

Rowdies Lose Bid For MLS Expansion

Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento are still in the running for two expansion teams.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies are still under consideration for two additional expansion clubs that the league said would be announced at a later date. Besides Tampa Bay, other cities competing for those teams include Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio and San Diego.

The league hopes to expand to 28 teams. Los Angeles Football Club, which kicks off in 2018, will be the league’s 23rd club, while expansion discussions continue in Miami. The league expects to name the two expansion teams at year’s end.

“The leaders of the Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento MLS expansion ownership groups have bold visions and innovative plans for their clubs, stadiums and their involvement in their respective communities,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “We are pleased these highly-respected business and sports leaders have been so determined to bring Major League Soccer to their cities. We have been greatly encouraged by the progress that all four of these groups have made and we are looking forward to their presentations.”

Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards issued this statement on the team’s website:

“This morning Major League Soccer (MLS) announced four finalists for the next two expansion teams, to be awarded this year. While the Rowdies were not one of the four, MLS made it clear that we remain in consideration for the expansion spots to be announced at a later date.

On behalf of the Rowdies organization, I am very proud of what we have accomplished on and off the pitch. We set modern day records in 19 categories this past season.

I personally had a medical setback that put us behind  but undaunted. I continue to invest in refining our stadium plan and other elements of our bid to make it as strong and competitive as possible, and remain in communication with Commissioner Garber and MLS. I firmly believe that this MLS expansion will come to pass.”


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