Wednesday, November 28, 2012

VSI Tampa announce $400M Soccer Stadium Plan

Don't look now Orlando City fans, but our new neighbor to the west in USL PRO this season is making a big time splash. VSI Tampa Bay FC will formally announce plans for a 28,000 seat retractable roof soccer specific stadium in Tampa on December 11th. The cost is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $400M not just for the stadium but for up to 20 professional playing fields as part of a new soccer complex that would rival anything seen in the Southeast or the country for that matter.

The location has not been specified yet, but all indications are it will involve some open sites adjacent to the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa; the land is currently owned by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. The group has already set an opening date for the stadium of March 30th, 2016 and mentions that the stadium will be expandable to 40,000.

The team has setup a website for the stadium where you can read all this information for yourself.

As a side note, the site also mentions that the USL PRO team will be playing in a temporary stadium downtown in Tampa for the 2013 season, similar to what the Vancouver Whitecaps did at Empire Field for their first season when BC Place was being renovated.

So what do you make of this news Orlando City fans?


  1. Smells like bull to me, especially with the $400m price tag. But if it has even an iota of truth to it, and they manage to actually attract fans (keep in mind, VSI had the second-worst attendance in the PDL SE Division last year, and given the SE Division usually has terrible attendance, that's especially bad), then it places pressure on Orlando City for an MLS slot, and on the Rowdies for their very existence.

  2. if MLS ever puts a team back in Tampa it is dumber than a sack of hammers. the demographics for Orlando are superiour to both Miami and Tampa, both of which have older, poorer and less well educated populations (all of which are key MLS demographics). that is even before we talk about established level of professional club and fan support.

    this is an idiotic pipedream by some web-designer with too much free time on their hands.

    never going to happen.

  3. This is definitely not a pipe dream as the stadium is a done deal according to my sources in Tampa. They will announce the plans on 11 December and break ground within the next 6 months. This is sad because I really was looking forward to MLS in Orlando.

    1. What about now? Orlando set to ACTUALLY start construction of a $110m in Decemeber 2013 with the land already purchased in approved by the city. I live in Tampa but this Tampa VSI will never succeed, I attend every orlando city home game and have seen how much more intense the fan base is than most football clubs. 1000 fans at home opener in plant city stadium?? sounds like a joke to me. Even though it would be nice to see a MLS stadium in Tampa we need to care about the Rays new stadium in downtown Tampa first. Maybe in 5 years when the economy is back we can start a MLS derby with Orlando.

  4. This announcement is so close to Garber's State of the League address, that it seems a little suspect that there was no mention of it. The plans sound very impressive, but we have to see what happens. The other component is that this team has to prove itself as a franchise. That's not going to be easy going up against the reigning NASL Soccer Bowl Champions. The other side of the coin is that the Rowdies are falling short in the stadium progress area. We'll wait and see!


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