ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Tuesday its purchase of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. 

  • Tampa Bay Rays buy Rowdies
  • Deal to be complete in coming weeks
  • Rays say the purchase is chance to continue growth in St. Petersburg

Rays President Matt Silverman, along with Rowdies owner Bill Edwards, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and United Soccer League President Jake Edwards discussed the sale and what they called an opportunity to grow the Rowdies brand and their footprint in St. Petersburg.

Financial terms were not announced.

The deal is expected to be finalized at the end of the Rowdies' current season, which is Oct. 14.

The Rays shot down speculation they are eyeing ownership of Al Lang Stadium, where the Rowdies play, as an option as the team pursues its Ybor City stadium plan.

Also, Edwards said the deal includes a period of at least five years where the Rowdies must remain at Al Lang Stadium. 

The two said the deal is a way to continue to grow the Rowdies and the team's intent in downtown St. Petersburg for soccer and concerts at Al Lang.

"We're real excited about what the Rowdies can continue to do in St. Pete," said Silverman. Bill (Edwards) has done an incredible job of adding activity and energy down here at Al Lang. 

"We want it to get to the next level. When you put the two together, it's going to expand not just the Rowdies but also the Rays."