The Tampa Bay Rowdies were honored on Thursday for the club's 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl Championship at City Hall by St. Petersburg City Council. In attendance was St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who introduced the Rowdies with a video tribute highlighting the second leg of the NASL Soccer Bowl Finals against Minnesota. Mayor Foster proclaimed November 8, 2012 as Tampa Bay Rowdies Day.
Mayor Foster commentted on the hard fought battle that took place at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday, October 27, while then introducing the Rowdies staff that was in attendance, including Owner David Laxer, Owner, President & General Manager Andrew Nestor and Head Coach Ricky Hill.
The Mayor then presented a proclamation that covered the Rowdies achievements since their arrival to St. Petersburg, including both on the field and off the field performances. Mayor Foster's speech culminated by officially announcing that November 8, 2012 is now Tampa Bay Rowdies Day. He called forth Andrew Nestor, who thanked St. Petersburg City Council for their cooperation and support of the Rowdies on behalf of every member of the organization.
"On behalf of the Rowdies organization, it is an honor to receive this proclamation," stated Nestor. "Since moving to St. Pete in 2011, the Rowdies have received an amazing amount of support from the St. Pete community, and that support is why this year we agreed to stay at Al Lang Stadium through the 2016 season."
The ceremony continued with Head Coach Ricky Hill speaking about the team's championship, and once again thanking the city of St. Petersburg for all the off-field support that the team has received.
"On behalf of the players and coaching staff, we thank St. Petersburg for all the help they have given us," said Hill. "For every game, people all over the Tampa Bay area gather at Al Lang Stadium and rally behind the team. I know each player is very grateful for all the effort that St. Petersburg puts into helping the Rowdies grow as a club."
Mayor Foster then presented a custom designed "Home Town Hero" poster artwork, with pictures that highlighted some of the best moments of the season.
City Council members then spoke about the importance of the Rowdies involvement in St. Petersburg, and many of them included Rowdies memories from the 1975 season all the way up to the 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl Finals.
"We like being in St. Pete," said Nestor. "We will continue to be an active and positive member of the community, and we will utilize our time and resources to the best of our ability to support community programs, initiatives, and businesses as well as enrich the daily lives of the residents of St. Pete."
The event at the City Hall will air on St. Pete TV this Friday at 6 p.m., and both on Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. noon.
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