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Discussion in 'Tampa Bay Rowdies' started by speedcake, Dec 27, 2011.
Hopefully Rays are committed enough to at least keep Rowdies solid in the USL Championship.
I agree with this. I think the Al Lang-as-Rays site ship has sailed. The question is, what do the Rays want with Al Lang? Or do they see the direction the USL is going in general as a positive, and thus just want to bolster the Rowdies?
I also don't like the idea of the Rowdies playing at wherever the Rays end up, especially with all the money dumped into Al Lang. That's been re-formed into a passable SSS. Unless, they're thinking of re-purposing the Trop, or even the Trop site...
Has there been any discussion of what impact this has on their MLS expansion bid? Has this basically finished it? (Not that it was very likely in any case)
It would bolster it if anything. Sternberg is worth way more than Edwards. His net worth is listed as $800 million which is pretty close to that $1 billion mark MLS supposedly expects. Of course if he's just not interested then that would finish it.
Re: the Trop site. It would be interesting as Garber expressed interest in it before. I think the Rays lose their stake in its redevelopment if they move to Tampa though.
I don't think that rules out MLS for the Rowdies, but I imagine the Rays are too focused on getting their Ybor stadium deal done to worry about MLS at the moment.
Sternberg is definitely the kind of owner that Garber would want in MLS, so the door to MLS is at least slightly ajar, whereas I don't think Bill Edwards ever had a chance. Edwards should have brought in some additional big money investors willing to spend more money on a better SSS plan for Al Lang. Edwards' MLS bid was not ambitious enough and his legal troubles didn't help.
We'll have to see what happens with the Rays Ybor stadium plans. If the Rays end up moving to Tampa, that potentially opens up St. Pete and Pinellas money for a Rowdies stadium; and although the Rays lose their stake in the Trop site if they move to Tampa, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Rowdies could not take their place as a partner with St. Pete to redevelop the site.
Al Lang is, surprisingly (to me) a decent enough soccer venue, especially for the level. (Now, with the idea that USL teams are going to be building modern yards over the next few years, that may be less and less the case several years from now.) The way they made improvements and wrapped it in a Rowdies motif makes it homey and effective and its age makes it have a classic feel.
Moving to Ybor just to move in with their parents (assuming Ybor actually happens) or to be a date filler for Rays, Inc. doesn't feel like a great move. (Location, fine, I'm on record as being pro-Hillsborough, but a baseball stadium - even the smallest one in the majors - is not optimal.) That's the case whether they're the USL Rowdies or MLS Rowdies.
Also, if Sternberg really has the wherewithal to be an MLS owner, I - as a Rays fan - would much rather he spend that money on a couple of actual ********ing starting pitchers and a legitimate closer than a designated player. That's just me.
It's very possible Edwards - who is 73 - just got tired. His track record is that he does a lot of things but not for a super long time. Waiting for an MLS bid that could be, still, a couple of years from happening, may have just been too much. Maybe he simply wanted out (remember, there were rumors of this earlier this year) and the Rays were ( a ) interested and ( b ) very likely the best option (both from an ability to pay standpoint and from a legitimacy standpoint). That's fine.