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Al Lang Stadium

St. Petersburg, FL

Home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies

4.9

4.2

Al Lang Stadium (map it)
230 1st St SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701


Tampa Bay Rowdies website

Al Lang Stadium website

Year Opened: 1947

Capacity: 7,227

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Our House...In The Middle Of St. Pete

Taking in a Tampa Bay Rowdies game can be a bit of a surreal experience. Here in the middle of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, sits a former Minor League Baseball stadium that has been transformed into the home of a professional soccer team, where fans tailgate and march through the city center before singing the entire game in support of their favorite team. This is definitely not something you would expect to be seeing in the south, and yet, it stands out as an incredible game day experience.

4.9

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The best thing about the food at Al Lang Stadium is its affordability. A beer ranges from just $6 to $9, with sodas and waters averaging $4. A burger is just $6 and a hot dog just $4, making the Rowdies insanely affordable, compared to most professional sports teams. There is even a concession stand open in the kids zone just for your child at the game and features snow cones, cotton candy, and ice cream. The quality of the food is also top notch, with everything made fresh in front of you.

Atmosphere    5

The atmosphere is electric, to say the least. The entire game is filled with the songs and chants of Ralph's Mob as they keep the excitement going. The fans explode with a roar whenever the Rowdies score a goal. The surrounding area provides a beautiful backdrop for a night of soccer. And to make things even better, the fans are allowed onto the field after the game to get player autographs, take photos, and get an up-close look at the pitch at Al Lang Stadium.

The stadium's big-screen scoreboard also provides great replays of each important moment on the pitch, as well as stats and information about what is happening throughout the rest of the league.

For those who are into social media, there are even special Snapchat filters for the games, helping fans connect and express their support in a host of ways.

Neighborhood    5

St. Petersburg is a growing city on the rise. It is a mix of vacationers, college students (USF has a campus literally steps away from the stadium), and professionals mixing with both city and suburban folks.

The neighborhood around the track is evolving into a high quality of life location that features some of the best hole-in-the-wall eateries you can imagine, with traditional shopping and dining (CVS, Publix, and others are there to help your shopping needs).

Hotels and resorts vary from motels a few blocks away to the beautiful Hilton in the heart of downtown that puts you close to the main gate. Just steps away are a SpringHill Suites and a Hampton Inn for lodging options.

Not to be forgotten, the people are gracious, kind, and welcoming, making even the most travel-weary fan at the game feel like they're right at home.

Situated right on the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the beach is right next door to the city, just a few minutes' drive away. Often rated among the greatest beaches in the country, relaxation under the sun is easier than ever.

Fans    5

The mere fact that there are seats in some parts of the stadium is funny, as they never sit in them for the whole game. Ralph's Mob, the team's official supporters club, stand the whole match, singing away for their favorite team and giving the opponents a hard time all the while. It is what one would imagine proper football to feel like as a fan, with all the passion, while remaining family friendly.

Something you notice right away is the amount of kids and families at the game. There are a ton of children watching the game with their parents, and it adds to the family friendly atmosphere.

Access    5

Getting to Al Lang Stadium is as easy as possible, with I-175 and I-375 branching off of I-275, literally ending on the street in downtown St. Pete that leads to the main entrance. How much easier is it to find than that?

Parking right in front of the entrance is a mere $5, with various lots around the stadium charging anywhere from $5 to $10. The Rowdies have their own officially-sanctioned parking lots and garages around town to help fans find the best place to park. The parking is also plentiful, regardless of how busy the game is going to be, which makes for an easier time finding somewhere to park for someone who isn't familiar with the area. The stadium itself isn't very big, so getting to your seat is also easy once you're inside.

After the game, fans are invited down onto the pitch for player autographs and photos, something few professional sports franchises actually do.

Return on Investment    5

There are few sports experiences in Florida as rewarding and enjoyable as a Rowdies game. They really know how to put on a show, party it up, and all have fun at the same time. The price of tickets can be as low as $26 for a seat in the stadium, and kids tickets are just $10. This makes for one of the most affordable professional soccer experiences in the country, let alone the state of Florida. Add to this the affordability of food and drinks at a game, and a family of four can go to a game and get food, while still having money left over for souvenirs.

Extras    5

The Rowdies fan club, Ralph's Mob, have a massive tailgate before each game, and then march down to the field before each game. Their path takes them through the heart of St. Pete in a wide circle complete with drums, flags, and fans singing the songs of Rowdies-nation. One of the stops along the way is at the Rowdies' official bar, The Rowdies Den, just a few blocks away from the stadium.

What else is more iconic in sports than a mascot?! The Rowdies have their own mascot who roams the stands, helping the fans get into the mood and pumping up the crowd by dancing on the sidelines at halftime.

Something else that adds to the excitement is the band that plays at all the games. Made up of local high school kids and young musicians, the band plays before the game in the tailgate and even takes part in the pre-game march sometimes, while also taking residence in the top corner of the grandstand during the game.

Something else Al Lang Stadium has that few other venues have is one of the best views in sports. On one side, the grandstand provides a great view of the towering buildings of downtown St. Petersburg. On the other, a view of beautiful Tampa Bay's waters greets fans. It is hard to argue with the aesthetics of the facility's surroundings.

Something few fans may realize is that the stadium sits in the middle of the course layout for the annual IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. During race weekend, the stadium doubles as a photographer's stand during the race. When walking through the parking lot, you can see the rumble strips on the ground and the red lines painted on the roads around the stadium that show where the barriers are laid out on race weekends.

Finally, fans get the chance each game to win $1,000 in a contest the team conducts. The game day programs each contain a new code and each Tuesday after the game, the winning code is announced, with the fan holding that code taking home a cool stack of cash.

Final Thoughts

Tampa Bay may not have an MLS team like they once did, but the Rowdies' NASL program certainly provides the same level of excitement and fun. Whether you're looking to take the whole family or just go solo for a night of sports, the Rowdies will provide a safe, fun, and enjoyable event in a great central location.

My take

Holy crap! Taking a historic baseball ballpark and degrading it by using it for soccer. This is the field that was graced by the Big Red Machine in the 1970s during Spring Training. I think I will just fire up a cigar and go back to enjoying the World Series on TV. Good grief.

by CigarBoy | Oct 25, 2011 10:01 AM

RE: My take

I agree that there is something that feels sacrilegious about using historic Al Lang Stadium as a soccer ground, but hey, someone's gotta use it. Lest it be torn to the ground. A lot of minor league parks have gone to hosting soccer in their outfield (see Fort Wayne Tin Caps review for pictures of another). To me, any excuse to go to a great ballpark/stadium is a good excuse...

by paul | Oct 25, 2011 01:34 PM

RE: My take

I understand the frustration in seeing this, but with all the rhetoric that happened after the failed Rays "sailboat" stadium proposal a few years back, I was 99% convinced Al Lang was facing the wrecking ball and turned into just another open space. If this is what it takes to keep its viability high for years, then so be it. As much as I love and admire St. Pete for its extensive waterfront park system, the LAST thing that piece of history should be turned into is another plot of grass for dogs to poop on and homeless to frequent.

by StPeteRays | Oct 25, 2011 02:06 PM

Poop? The wheels are turning in my mind to come up with a poop joke that covers dogs, grass, soccer and people that like soccer!.

by CigarBoy | Oct 26, 2011 12:18 AM

RE: My take

Dear Genius:

You're thinking (if you're thinking at all) of Al LOPEZ Stadium, not Al LANG. The Big Red Machine trained at Redsland, in Tampa, right next to Tampa Stadium, in the 1970s. Not at Al LANG in St. Petersburg, on the other side of the Bay.

And I'm sorry it pains your little brain to think of people playing another sport on the hallowed ground that I'm guessing you haven't visited in decades, but that's just something you'll have to deal with.

Hall of Famer my buttocks. Moron.

by ZjelkoB2 | Oct 26, 2011 02:24 PM

RE: My take

"Taking a historic baseball ballpark and degrading it by using it for soccer." What a stupid comment. Of course, it had to come from a person who thinks baseball is the only sport worth watching and following. Please...grow up. The '70's are gone, history! Go back to watching your world series.

by ENJOYLIFEVIDEOS | Oct 27, 2011 09:50 AM

RE: RE: My take

Thank you for setting CigarMORON straight. This dude doesn't even know the history of the sport he likes.

by ENJOYLIFEVIDEOS | Oct 27, 2011 09:52 AM

RE:

"Poop? The wheels are turning in my mind to come up with a poop joke that covers dogs, grass, soccer and people that like soccer!" Well think hard...because your brain isn't that clever anyways!

by ENJOYLIFEVIDEOS | Oct 27, 2011 09:54 AM

My take

I stand corrected, it was Al Lopez. I got the AL part right.

I always find it amusing when I don't fall in line and take a shot at the game of soccer. The soccer people always resort to taking personal shots at me. They are a thin skinned little bunch.

For the record I enjoy baseball, football and basketball, classic American sports and if anyone wants to take shots at those sports, be my guest. I won't be offended, nor feel the need to defend them. I also have no desire to get into a pissing match (maybe the first on StadiumJourney.com) with thin-skinned soccer fans, it is just not that important.

by CigarBoy | Oct 27, 2011 01:16 PM

Rowdies

Good to see the club back as the Rowdies...the way it should be...

by paul | Dec 21, 2011 12:47 PM

Saving baseball history via soccer

Al Lang is history. As a Mets fan, I certainly knew that the idols of my youth -- Seaver, Koosman, Hodges and my sentimental fave Swoboda, trained there each spring. Before them, it was Musial's Cards, and nearby (with a prior stadium that Al Lang replaced) trained Ruth and Gehrig. And... the place was going to get torn down absent another use. Would it be better to see it replaced by condos? I think not. Soccer's not my cup of tea, I assure you, but this is a reuse that saves a historic baseball stadium and baseball fans should be thanking the Rowdies, not bashing them.

by DougB | Jul 10, 2013 01:07 AM

gag

Afin d'élargir la participation, et de réduire l'impact de la perte sur les participants les moins capables, il ya eu une introduction de l'activité physique non compétitive ŕ des événements traditionnellement concurrentiels tels que les journées sportives de l'école, bien que des mouvements comme ce sont souvent controversés.
phd paper

by Patten | Aug 23, 2014 01:09 AM

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Crowd Reviews

A Kick in the Grass

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Al Lang Stadium appear, on the outside, to be as unlikely of a match as they come. The team was created in 2010 for the soon-to-be created North American Soccer League, the latter of which was the end result of a feud in the United States Soccer Federation between teams on which league would be second-tier in the American pyramid. The stadium is an ancient ball field, steeped in history and considered "the epicenter of spring training".

Yet, these two have a lot more in common than one thinks. While the Rowdies of today is only in its second season (as of 2011), its roots are steeped in Bay Area tradition, as well. Originally taking the name of "FC Tampa Bay Rowdies" for their first year of play, this is an obvious homage to the very first professional top-league team in Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who began play in the first incarnation of the North American Soccer League in 1975. They were successful on the field with one championship and two 2nd-place finishes, and they were even popular off, drawing large crowds to old Tampa Stadium.

Unfortunately, they ended play in 1993, after moving from league-to-league — each one going belly-up while the Rowdies soldiered on — trying to find one they could call their own, remaining popular to the very end — an end that eventually landed them in the now-demolished Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg as an indoor soccer team. Due to soccer's past popularity in the Bay Area, when Major League Soccer started in 1996, a team called the Mutiny was created and played at old Tampa Stadium until 1998, when they moved into the new Raymond James Stadium. However, they were not as popular as their predecessors, and were dissolved in 2001.

These new Rowdies, wearing the same color-scheme from the original team (in 2011, they dropped the "Rowdies" portion of their name due to outstanding copyright issues — going as "FC Tampa Bay" for that season — but for 2012 and beyond have retained the rights to the original "Rowdies" name), played their 2010 season at Steinbrenner Field. But due to the conflicting schedule of baseball and soccer (meaning the pitch still had the dirt base paths), they moved to Al Lang Stadium the following year, since it had no summertime tenants, and faced the wrecking ball as late as summer 2010. Now, both icons, once thought to be lost forever, are now back and alive.

No Longer Just a Kick in the Grass

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

The Rowdies are officially back! After living with the moniker of "FC Tampa Bay" from their inception in 2009 (play didn't begin for them until 2010) until late 2011, the team re-secured the rights to the heralded name and are now free to be the direct descendents of their long-lost brethren from the '70s, '80s and early '90s. If you're unfamiliar, you can read about their history by clicking on the "Crowd Reviews" tab just below the headlining picture.

While the Rowdies of old were amongst the best in North America, playing in the original incarnation of the top-flight league the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, the North American Soccer League, these Rowdies are right now in the second-level on the North American Soccer Pyramid, albeit in the reincarnated NASL. However, don't let the level on the food chain (so to speak) fool you; this team has the loyal following, skill, and locale necessary to make the big show (like the Montreal Impact did in 2012) of Major League Soccer one day. And though Al Lang is a very competent facility in arguably one of the best settings in America, to make that jump to MLS, the team needs a new, purpose-built facility. Remember: Al Lang Stadium is still a spring training facility first.

Don't let that steer you away, though, because this is still a team that is one of the best in its class playing in one of the most historic facilities in the United States in one of the best downtowns in the Southeast.

Worth it!

Total Score: 4.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

For those of us who care about the soccer movement in America, attending FCTB games @ Al LAng is a great and fun experience...also very affordable. Tickets, parking & food are very affordable. To see a soccer game against the background of a beautiful bay and a lovely downtown is great. I highly recommended.

And to those American who think baseball is the ONLY thing, please abstain from your moronic comments. For some of us baseball is NOT relevant!

Getting Rowdie

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

They do what they can with the limitations of playing in a baseball stadium. Attended the home opener and was surprised that there were not more fans. Those that were there were in good spirits. Neighborhood is one of the best in the country and Rowdies Den is the place to go before the game. Free street parking on the weekends if you know where to look. Tickets a bit expensive starting at $23.50.

Share your thoughts about Al Lang Stadium

Local Food & Drink

Central Avenue Oyster Bar  (map it!)

249 Central Ave

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 897-9728

http://centralaveoysterbar.com/

Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill  (map it!)

1320 Central Ave

St Petersburg, FL 33705

(727) 822-4562

http://fergssportsbar.com/

Burrito Boarder  (map it!)

17 3rd St N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 209-0202

http://www.burritoboarder.com/

Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant  (map it!)

10 Beach Dr NE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 209-2302

http://www.ceviche.com/

The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge  (map it!)

540 1st St SE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 823-7767

http://www.thehangarstpete.com/

Kahwa Coffee  (map it!)

204 2nd Ave S

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 821-1942

http://www.kahwacoffee.com/

Local Entertainment

PUSH Ultra Lounge  (map it!)

128 3rd St S

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 871-7874

http://www.pushlounge.com/

Jannus Live  (map it!)

16 2nd St N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 565-0550

http://www.jannuslive.com/

State Theatre  (map it!)

687 Central Ave

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 895-3045

http://www.statetheatreconcerts.com/

Florida Holocaust Museum  (map it!)

55 5th St S

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 820-0100

http://www.flholocaustmuseum.org/

American Stage Theatre Company  (map it!)

163 3rd St N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 823-7529

http://www.americanstage.org/

Museum of Fine Arts  (map it!)

255 Beach Dr NE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 896-2667

http://www.fine-arts.org/

Mahaffey Theater  (map it!)

400 1st St S

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 892-5798

http://www.mahaffeytheater.com/

Salvador Dali Museum  (map it!)

1 Dali­ Blvd

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 823-3767

http://www.salvadordalimuseum.org

St. Petersburg Museum of History  (map it!)

335 2nd Ave NE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 894-1052

http://www.spmoh.org

Lodging

Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront  (map it!)

333 1st St S

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(866) 601-2397

http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/SPTSHHF-Hilton-St-Petersburg-Bayfront-Florida/index.do

Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club  (map it!)

501 5th Ave NE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 894-1000

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tpasr-renaissance-vinoy-resort-and-golf-club/

Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown  (map it!)

300 4th St N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 450-6200

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tpasd-courtyard-st-petersburg-downtown/

Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown  (map it!)

80 Beach Dr NE

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 892-9900

http://www.stpetehamptonsuites.com/

The Pier Hotel  (map it!)

253 2nd Ave N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(800) 735-6607

http://www.thepierhotel.com/

Ponce de Leon Hotel  (map it!)

95 Central Ave

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 550-9300

http://www.poncedeleonhotel.com/

America's Best Inn Downtown  (map it!)

342 3rd Ave N

St Petersburg, FL 33701

(727) 894-3428

http://www.americasbestinnstpete.com/

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