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Blake High School is the temporary home for Tampa Bay's new USL Super League team

Overhead rendering of a soccer stadium
Super League Tampa Bay
/
Courtesy
Blake High School will be the temporary home for a new women's pro soccer team that begins play at an expanded stadium along the Hillsborough River in August 2024.

The Hillsborough County School District approved the team's request to open play at an expanded waterfront stadium until it moves into a yet-to-be-determined permanent location.

Blake High School will be the temporary home for a new women's pro soccer team that begins play next year.

On Tuesday, the Hillsborough County School Board approved the team's request to play in an expanded waterfront stadium along the Hillsborough River near Armature Works in West Tampa.

“As a fan, this location unlocks an entire evening of fun, with so many hubs of activity around downtown Tampa," Super League Tampa Bay President Christina Unkel said in a release. "You can have dinner with friends, then hop on a water taxi or stroll to the Riverwalk, and ‘march to the match’ to cheer for your team.”

The yet-unnamed team, which begins play in the new USL Super League in August 2024, agreed to pay the full cost for permanent stadium enhancements, estimated at more than $4 million.

Overhead rendering of a soccer stadium along the water
Super League Tampa Bay
/
Courtesy
Blake High School will be the temporary home for a new women's pro soccer team that begins play at an expanded stadium along the Hillsborough River in August 2024.

These include expanding the seating capacity from 1,800 to around 5,000, along with new turf, upgraded locker rooms, and other beautification efforts on the adjacent Blake High campus.

The school district also announced the team is exploring ways to create learning opportunities for Blake students in areas including music, performing arts, and TV production, as well as math and engineering.

Blake, along with Middleton, are the only two high schools in the county that were open to Black students during the segregation era.

“This is a unique public-private partnership that creates fantastic opportunities for our students and our entire community,” said interim Hillsborough superintendent Van Ayres, a former teacher at Blake who later served as an assistant principal for 15 years.

“On the field, our athletes will have access to excellent new high-end facilities. Off the field, we’ll have new opportunities for hands-on learning for all the students at the school. Plus, our whole community will see the benefits of investing in our schools to create a stronger future for all of us.”

The team is expected to play at Blake for its first several seasons before moving to an undetermined permanent location.

It will play its home games on Saturday nights and hold daily training at its Ybor City training facility in Tampa.

The team is accepting season-ticket deposits for season tickets for $24 apiece, and is expected to announce its name, colors, and logo in the coming weeks.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.