As you are hopefully aware, our Chamber has been the lead partner with the Rowdies in their effort to join Major League Soccer. Indications of support and positive feedback from around the country and from Major League Soccer itself give us great optimism for our chances of success.
We are thrilled to report that the St. Petersburg City Council unanimously voted late last week to move forward with the special election related to the Rowdies MLS effort.
The most important next step for us to take together is to pass the referendum/vote on May 2nd which will allow the City of St. Petersburg to negotiate a long-term use agreement (up to 25 years) with the Rowdies, and is necessary due to the Charter restrictions on waterfront park property. Without a long-term use-agreement, the team's planned $80 million+ private investment would not be possible.
Our Chamber Public Policy Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Rowdies' expansion plans and endorsing a "Yes" vote on the referendum, which then went onto the Chamber Board of Governors who also unanimously voted in support.
We need your help to do some or all of the following...now is our time together to take action and help shape the future of our great City:
• If you are not part of the Rowdies Council, please sign up at www.stpete.com/rowdiescouncil.
• Mark your calendar for 4pm Friday 3/17 for our next meeting at the offices of Raymond James - 1 Progress Plaza #165, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
• Please be sure you register to vote, and consider requesting a vote-by-mail ballot to ensure you don't miss the opportunity to cast a "Yes" vote.
• We are raising money through our Chamber PAC to support this referendum effort and would appreciate your support. Please contact Travis Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Attendance is important to Major League Soccer as they evaluate different expansion options. Season tickets start at $20 per game and afford you great flexibility for swapping seats and games - please buy tickets today at www.rowdiessoccer.com/season-tickets to help us sell out the season!
• Our Chamber Rowdies luncheon is next Tuesday March 21st. We have 130+ registered of our 160 max capacity. We will sell out this event...and if we move to a wait list by the time you reach out, check with one of these businesses who so generously are sponsoring the event, to see if they have room at their table: Florida Print Solutions as the Title Sponsor...Bank of the Ozarks, Duke Energy, Gallagher & Associates, Manning & Napier, Pinellas Education Foundation, Raymond James, St. Petersburg City Council, St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, Tranquil Shores and USAmeribank.
• Please continue to post to social media using the hashtag #MLS2STPETE.
Time is limited and now is the time to take action. Please share information with your family, friends and co-workers and make sure they understand why we should bring #MLS2STPETE!
Thank you for your continued leadership and support of our community,
Greg, Tash & Chris
Greg Holden & Tash Elwyn, Co-Chairs of Rowdies Council
Chris Steinocher, President & CEO of St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
PS: Please check out the attached palm card with some great info on Major League Soccer...and spread the word!