Team Would Provide Enhancements to
Campus and New Opportunities for Students
TAMPA, FL (October 11, 2023) – Tampa Bay’s new top-tier women’s pro soccer team has announced that it will seek a partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools to play its first seasons in an upgraded and expanded waterfront stadium in Downtown Tampa that it would share with Howard W. Blake High School.
Super League Tampa Bay would provide permanent upgrades to the stadium, which is located along the Hillsborough River in Tampa’s fast-growing West River neighborhood, delivering enhanced sports facilities and new learning opportunities for students on the neighboring campus. A proposal by school district staff and the team to establish the partnership will go before the Hillsborough County School Board for a vote on October 17.
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“The spirit of competition is very strong in us, but so is the spirit of community. Our team is ready to deliver a positive impact that benefits families in Tampa Bay, and this partnership would elevate everyone,” said Christina Unkel, Super League Tampa Bay President.
If the School Board approves the partnership, the team will pay for enhancements that would transform the stadium, expanding its capacity from 1,800 to around 5,000, installing new FIFA-approved turf, and adding additional upgrades that will be identified as plans are completed. The team will also work with school leaders to identify beautification projects on the adjacent Blake campus.
Off the field, the team has started conversations with the neighboring school to discuss innovative ways to deliver a positive impact for students. Potential efforts include empowering music students to create one of the musical chants sung by fans during games, involving TV production students in live game broadcasts, and engaging math and engineering classes in hands-on experiences during the stadium upgrades and, once the team begins play in August 2024, showcasing the math behind sports and business.
“Our schools have been the site of so much history, and the birthplace of so many important traditions. It will be wonderful to add to that legacy with this new soccer team. There’s something special about sports that brings out the best in people and brings people together,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, a former Hillsborough County Public Schools student athlete.
Blake shares a history with Middleton High School as the only two high schools open to Black students during the segregation era. Today, Blake and its extensive network of Yellow Jacket alumni carry on the school’s legacy as a light of learning for people of all backgrounds, while adding one of the top Performing Arts magnet programs in Florida.
Investing in the community
“How do we make our amazing community even stronger? Partnerships like this. When businesses and community groups invest in our schools, we unlock new doors for everyone,” said Shaun Drinkard, Interim President of the Tampa Downtown Partnership.
Located a quick walk or water taxi ride from Downtown activity hubs such as the Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa Heights, Armature Works, and the University of Tampa, the temporary stadium will host the club’s first several seasons while a permanent soccer-specific stadium is being planned.
Games will be played primarily on Saturday nights and the team will continue to hold its daily training at its Ybor City Training Facility, minimizing any impact on the neighboring school.
Season ticket deposits now available
The team is now accepting deposits for season tickets. The deposit for the club’s August 2024 debut is $24 per ticket. Click here to sign up now.
Childhood friends Darryl Shaw, David Laxer, and Jeff Fox serve as owners of the team, which will compete in the newly established USL Super League. The club’s name, colors, and logo—which are being created with input from fans—will be revealed in the coming weeks.
To stay connected with Tampa Bay’s new team and sign up for updates, visit SuperLeagueTampaBay.com