It’s the Rowdies Day to Score – Or Not
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
Today (May 2) is the last chance for St. Pete voters to cast their ballots to decide whether to allow the Tampa Bay Rowdies to expand Al Lang Stadium to 18,000 seats.
ST. PETERSBURG – Voters – those who haven’t already cast ballots – will go to the polls today to decide whether the Tampa Bay Rowdies should be allowed to renovate and expand Al Lang Stadium.
Thus far, 23,902 people have cast mail-in ballots in the referendum. That’s about 34.8 percent of the 68,754 ballots that were mailed out. It’s also about 14.2 percent of the 168,145 voters who are eligible to cast ballots in the referendum.
If passed, the referendum will give the city the authority to negotiate and approve a deal to lease Al Lang Field for up to 25 years to be primarily used for a home field for a Major League Soccer expansion team. Any upgrades to the stadium would be paid for by the team and not with tax money. The Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team, which is applying for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise, has asked to lease the field. The team has said it will pay for upgrades.
Among key elements of the design, according to the team:
*The expansion will not overwhelm the site or the waterfront.
*The expansion will be built completely on the existing site and will not protrude into the surrounding streets or water.
*The expansion will provide a stunning waterfront view corridor from the stadium seats east into the bay.
*The expansion is designed to operate in harmony with the Mahaffey Theater, the Dalí, Saturday Morning Market and Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg circuit.
*The project will provide the public with an expanded multi-use venue for sporting events, festivals and concerts, while allowing for the long term success of the Rowdies.
Some election day reminders from the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections:
*Polling places will be open 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
*State law requires voters to vote in the precinct in which they reside. Voters who have moved are required to vote in their new home precinct.
*Polling places for municipal elections may be different than those for county elections. Voters are encouraged to confirm their polling places by going to VotePinellas.com and clicking on the “Find Your Precinct” button at the top of the page, or calling 727-464-VOTE (8683).
*Ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day (May 2) at any one of the three Supervisor of Elections Offices. Voted mail ballots can be dropped off at any of the three Elections Offices. Mail ballots cannot be accepted at a polling place on Election Day.
Rendering of proposed stadium courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
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