TAMPA, Fla. (October 2, 2018) — The co-chairs of Tampa Bay Rays 2020, a non-profit organization created to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in the Tampa Bay area, expressed support Tuesday of the decision by the Tampa Bay Rays organization to purchase the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The deal to buy the soccer team is a smart business move for the Rays and has no impact on the efforts to see the baseball team moved to Ybor City in Tampa, Tampa Bay Rays 2020 officials said. In fact, it only boosts the chances of seeing the team relocated to Tampa.

“Today marks another important milestone as we prepare to build a new ballpark for the Tampa Bay Rays,” said Chuck Sykes, CEO of Sykes Enterprises and Co-Chair of Tampa Bay Rays 2020. “Purchasing the Rowdies allows the Rays to maintain a sports presence in downtown St. Petersburg and elevates the potential of making Ybor City their home.”

The central location of Ybor City delivers a much higher yield of total living and/or working people in a 30-minute drive time with 600,000 near Tropicana Field and 2.2 million near the proposed Ybor City location, according to Tampa Bay Rays 2020.

Rays officials see the purchase of the Rowdies as an opportunity to expand their business and continue to be an important part of the fabric of both communities.

“The purchase of the Rowdies is further proof of the Rays’ commitment to the Tampa Bay community,” said Ron Christaldi, Partner, Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick PA and Co-Chair of Tampa Bay Rays 2020. ‘Through their ownership of the Rowdies, the Rays will maintain a presence in downtown St. Petersburg and continue to contribute to quality of life in our community – on both sides of the Bay.”

About Tampa Bay Rays 2020

TBR2020 is a non-profit organization created by Tampa Bay business leaders and volunteers to raise Tampa Bay Community awareness, build private equity and support the overall movement to “Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay.For more information, visit: tampabayrays2020.com, facebook.com/TBRays2020/ or @TBRays2020.

This post was transcribed from a letter by the Tampa Bay Rays 2020.