ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The Tampa Bay Rowdies made a huge announcement for soccer fans and the Bay Area Tuesday. The team is looking to head to Major League Soccer.
Rowdies owner Bill Edwards made the announcement Tuesday evening in St. Petersburg.
The rowdies are currently in the United Soccer League. This would put them in the major league.
To make it happen, Al Lang stadium in downtown St. Pete, which seats about 6,500 people, would have to be upgraded to seat about 18,000.
The Tampa Bay market is ranked number 11 in the United States - which is the highest market MLS is not already in. Edwards says that makes the team very attractive.
"This is the biggest place that they are not in," Edwards said. "This is very intriguing to [MLS], we are having conversations, and they are very up on St. Petersburg."
Edwards said he would privately fund renovations to renovate Al Lang Stadium and the project would not be put on the back of tax payers. There would be a city-wide referendum vote allowing construction.
Edwards says there are several hurdles to jump, but he hopes for the Rowdies to be part of Major League Soccer by 2019.