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Rays challenge: What to do with Al Lang Field

Margie Manning



Al Lang Stadium

The Tampa Bay Rays are looking for your ideas on what to do with Al Lang Field when the Tampa Bay Rowdies aren’t playing soccer in the historic stadium.

Tim Schar, SunTrust market president, and Brian Kornfeld, Synapse president

There’s a $3,500 prize for the person who comes up with the best idea, said Brian Kornfeld, co-founder and president of Synapse, the Tampa-based nonprofit that connects entrepreneurs, talent, investors, corporations, schools and other stakeholders to accelerate success.

The SunTrust Foundation-Tampa/Southwest Florida last year awarded a $50,000 grant to Synapse to support Synapse Innovation Challenges, and help companies and nonprofit organizations solve real-world problems.

The Rays challenge was one of two unveiled at the Synapse Summit Wednesday.

Al Lang, a 7,500-seat stadium on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront, is home field for the Rowdies, a United Soccer League team the Rays bought last year. The Rays also took over a contract with the city of St. Petersburg to manage the stadium.

It’s used by the Rowdies for about 20 games a year. There also are concerts at Al Lang and the parking lot is used for the Saturday Morning Market, every October through May.

“There are about 320 days in the year that Al Lang Field goes unused,” Kornfeld said. “The Rays want to challenge you to come up with this pitch on how to best use Al Lang Field.”

The pitch should include a description of the recommended activities and programming, the space used, the frequency, dates and times of events, the target audience, anticipated attendance, marketing ideas and a business plan with expected revenue and expenses, according to a description on the Synapse Connect website, which requires registration to view.

The website has additional details on how to enter the challenge.

A second ongoing Innovation Challenge involves the American Victory Museum and Ship, an historic World War II vessel anchored in downtown Tampa. The SS American Victory board of trustees is looking for innovative ideas to bring in younger visitors and generate greater revenue. Details of that challenge also are on the Synapse Connect website.

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  1. Avatar


    January 30, 2019at9:35 am

    The Tampa Bay Cannons (Pro Ultimate team) should play there! It would be great for the city and for the team!

  2. Avatar

    James Williams

    January 27, 2019at6:21 pm

    Should let the Rays use it as there Spring Training Field.that should have been a no brainer from the start.here we had a team in the World Series and same year they move them from a City that was the home to Spring Training.one thing Do Not Let The Mayor handle anything about it.he has screwed up 9th st and the Pier

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