The Tampa Bay Rowdies electrified the St. Petersburg community with a 2019 post-season push in the USL Championship. In spite of a heartbreaking loss to Louisville FC, the Tampa-Bay soccer-loving community stood firmly behind their team the whole way. Those same fans can now rejoice because the Rowdies are (provisionally) set to return to play on July 11.
Announced today, June 4, in a statement over their social media channels, the USL Championship’s Board of Governors has voted in favor of returning to play in 2020. They make note that the USL Championship’s return to play “will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines.”
Game scheduling, competition format, broadcast, and other pertinent details will be announced in the coming weeks. They’ll also be announcing information for season tickets, group tickets, and individual tickets as the details come together.
On March 7, the Tampa Bay Rowdies started their 2020 season with a major win against New York Red Bulls II. Rowdies veteran Leo Fernandes scored the game-winning goal. Never before had the Rowdies beaten Red Bulls II in an away game. It was a BIG deal. The season was put on hold when COVID-19 brought shutdowns across the world. This was right as the team was headed to Miami for their second game of the season.
We miss those Saturday night lights at Al Lang Stadium
Whether fans will be in the stadium to attend or not is still yet to be determined. Rowdies matches are infamous for their incredible home-field atmosphere complete with gorgeous waterfront sunsets, local food trucks, dancing Pelican mascots, and spirited chants from dedicated supporters groups Ralph’s Mobs, Skyway Casuals, and more.
This writer dearly hopes that 2020 still includes attending a home match for the Rowdies. However, even being able to cheer our team on again *virtually* would be a much-welcomed semblance of normalcy.
Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they will be donating $100,000 every year to organizations fighting to end systemic racism. Read more about their statement here.