TAMPA — Tampa Bay's professional soccer team is no longer officially called the Rowdies — for now.
Embroiled in a trademark infringement lawsuit for nearly 18 months, the team announced Thursday that as part of a settlement agreement with Classic Ink Inc. it has agreed to cease usage of the Rowdies name until further notice. The organization will continue to be recognized as FC Tampa Bay.
"Our organization has seen positive developments in this process and we look forward to a quick resolution," team president Andrew Nestor said in a release.
Dallas-based retro sports logo apparel company Classic Ink filed a trademark infringement suit against the Rowdies and its parent company, Citrus Ventures, in Texas Northern District Court in April 2009 claiming the team was using a trademark it owned.
Classic Ink owns Classic Logo Sports, which produces T-shirts with logos of retro sports teams such as the Tampa Bay Rowdies from the 1970s and '80s.
In a partial compromise before the season started, the Rowdies officially referred to the team as FC Tampa Bay and had no reference to the Rowdies name on any apparel sold.
In August, Classic Ink won a separate trademark infringement lawsuit over American Needle, another company that sells retro athletic apparel.
Team spokesperson Megan Danner said all references to the Rowdies name will be removed from the team's website, Facebook page and Twitter account but added the team hopes it will be able to retain the name by the beginning of the 2011 season.