Oct 11, 2023 - News

Tampa women's soccer team announces temporary stadium plan

A rendering of a soccer field on a river with players on the field and fans filling up the stands.

A rendering of the proposed stadium. Photo: Super League Tampa Bay

Tampa's first professional women's soccer team is aiming to play its first season at Howard W. Blake High School's stadium overlooking the Hillsborough River.

What's happening: Super League Tampa Bay officials announced Wednesday that they're seeking a partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools to use the high school as the team's temporary home when the season kicks off next August.

  • The plan is contingent on school board approval. The vote is set for the Oct. 17 meeting.

Why it matters: The stadium would put the new team, which was announced in May, in a prime location close to downtown and near amenities like the Tampa Riverwalk, Armature Works and the University of Tampa, officials said.

Zoom in: If school board members approve the partnership, the soccer team will pay to expand the stadium capacity from 1,800 to 5,000 and install FIFA-approved turf, among other upgrades, according to a news release.

  • Team president Christina Unkel declined to specify how much those improvements would cost but said it would be "in the millions," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
  • No taxpayer dollars will be used toward the changes.

Zoom out: A permanent site hasn't been announced yet, but developer and team co-owner Darryl Shaw previously said his dream is to build the stadium in Ybor City.

  • Plans to build a training facility in the historic neighborhood are already underway.

What's next: Team leaders will announce the club's name, colors and logo in the coming weeks. Their design included a public input process that closed in June.

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