Voters approve Al Lang Stadium referendum, Rowdies take step toward MLS franchise bid

(A rendering of the stadium expansion. Source: Tampa Bay Rowdies)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Voters decided Tuesday to expand Al Lang Stadium, where the Tampa Bay Rowdies play.

Voters approved the referendum with 87% of the votes.

(Source: Tampa Bay Rowdies)

The vote is a huge step for the Rowdies, who have been fighting for a bid to join Major League Soccer.

“I am grateful to the citizens of St. Petersburg for passing this important referendum,” said Rowdies Chairman and CEO Bill Edwards.

“St. Petersburg is very protective of our incredibly valuable waterfront – as is appropriate.  We have put together a stadium plan that enhances our downtown, is of a scale that is respectful to our waterfront and does not burden the taxpayers.”

“In approving this referendum, voters have not only expressed their support for a longer term agreement at Al Lang Stadium, but have sent a strong message that St. Pete and the entire region are excited about the prospect of the Rowdies joining MLS,” said City of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

(A rendering of the expansion. Source: Tampa Bay Rowdies)

“The Rowdies’ future in the Sunshine City has never been brighter.”

Talks of terms of a use agreement will begin now that the vote has passed.

Rowdies owner and partners will spend $80 million on upgrades, turning Al Lang Stadium into an 18,000 seat arena.  The renovation and expansion will be privately funded and is contingent on being awarded an MLS franchise.

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