Pro soccer coming to Tampa in 2010 listen06/19/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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This afternoon at Raymond James Stadium, team owners announced that Tampa Bay will soon have a new soccer team with a familiar name.
"There will be a new professional soccer team that will compete in United Soccer Leagues Division One starting in the 2010 season and the name of that team will be the Tampa Bay Rowdies," said Andrew Nestor, president, CEO and part owner of the group.
Nestor said the team has not decided on a new logo, but the colors will remain green and yellow, just like the Rowdies team that played with the North American Soccer League and other leagues until 1993.
Tim Holt is the COO of the Rowdiesâ€™ new league, the USL, which has been based in the Carrollwood section of Tampa since 1996. Holt said Nestor and the rest of the teamâ€™s ownership group are â€œall united in their passion for soccer.â€
Nestor said they are looking to build a privately-funded stadium in northwest Hillsborough County.
Former Rowdies player Perry Van der Beck was the first person hired by the new Tampa Bay Rowdies. As technical director, he will be in charge of youth soccer initiatives.
Van der Beck said heâ€™s excited to have pro soccer back in Tampa.
David Laxer, president of Bernâ€™s Steakhouse in Tampa, is another part owner of the new franchise.
Photo by SeÃ¡n Kinane/WMNF