TAMPA — The new Tampa Bay Rowdies franchise finally has a new look to call its own.
The Rowdies unveiled their new logo Thursday, as well as a team Web site and information on how fans can purchase tickets for the team's inaugural USL First Division season in 2010.
"It's so important for us to get our brand out there," Rowdies owner and team president Andrew Nestor said. "Doors are open now and now we can reach out to our fans, sell some tickets and some clothing and go from there."
Here is some information about what's new with the Rowdies.
What is the concept behind the new logo?
Nestor said it was important to keep the colors and stripes of the old Rowdies franchise. The dominant colors remain green and yellow. A gold star above the shield represents the Rowdies' NASL championship in 1975. The shield also contains navy outlining and border, which could allow an alternate navy jersey down the road. "We wanted to project the Rowdies as in the upper echelon of U.S. soccer. That's the level we strive to be at. That's the image we wanted to present," Nestor said.
How involved was the process of developing the logo?
The logo emerged from more than 20 prototypes made by four designers. The selected design was made by Harrington Witherspoon of Starkwhite Inc. in Atlanta. The research was intensive, Nestor said, and even included the owners looking at blogs and message boards for ideas. "It helped shape our decision a little bit," Nestor said. "The most important things I saw were the stripes and colors. That was the absolute must characteristics because that's what everybody identifies the Rowdies with."
How do fans get season tickets?
At TBRowdies.com, there is a link where fans can make $50 deposits for season tickets for the 2010 season with a limit of six per user. Anyone who makes a deposit will be contacted in fall of 2009 to complete season ticket purchases. Packages will range from $150 to $1,000 for 15 regular-season home games. Season ticket holders will be able to purchase tickets for preseason, playoff and U.S. Open Cup games before others.
How much will individual tickets cost?
They will range from around $10 (general admission) to $50 (club box seat) a game.
Where can I purchase Rowdies merchandise?
Both new and vintage Rowdies merchandise, which will include jerseys, T-shirts and hats, can be purchased at TBRowdies.com starting Oct. 16.
When will the stadium plans be released?
Nestor said to expect more on the privately-financed stadium within the next two months. It's still slated to hold 5,500 seats and be located at the corner of Veterans Expressway and Waters Avenue in northwest Hillsborough County. It will also have 16 luxury suites, which will be fully enclosed and air-conditioned with a wet bar, refrigerator and two flat-panel TVs. There will be an open berm seating area on the south side of the stadium.
What is next?
The team plans to hire a general manager in January or February. From there, it will start a coaching search, which might take a few months, then move on to signing players and filling out the rest of the staff.