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Tampa Bay’s first women’s pro soccer team reveals its name, logo and colors

Soccer club announcement
Sun FC
From left: Team Co-owner Darryl Shaw, Team co-owner David Laxer, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Team co-owner Jeff Fox, Team coach Denise Schilte-Brown, and Team president Christina Unkel

The new team will begin playing in August 2024, at a renovated Blake High School stadium on the Hillsborough River.

Tampa Bay’s newest women’s professional soccer team unveiled its name, logo and colors during a community event in Ybor City Saturday. Hundreds of fans gathered as Tampa Mayor Jane Castor officially shared the branding of the region’s newest sports franchise: Tampa Bay Sun FC.

Club leaders were on hand to share the process that led to the name and crest.

“Through months of thoughtful discussions and meetings with fan groups, we turned directly to our local communities. We listened to their stories about who we are, why we choose to call this area home, and, most importantly, why we adore this place,” recalled Club President Christina Unkel. “We wanted to capture part of what we all love about the Tampa Bay Area and find a symbol that’s full of energy, with the power to connect us all together.”

Darryl Shaw, the team's co-owner, added, “Creating a community-centered club has been our unwavering focus since day one. We invested months in engaging with and heeding the voices of our community members across our region. In those conversations, this message stood out loud and clear.”

The team received more than 2,500 name ideas from the public. Nine people suggested Tampa Bay Sun. One of them explained, “You can have Sun, and within an hour you can touch the beach, the city, and the country.” During small group meetings with fans, the Sun was represented simply as a lined drawing, and referenced in countless ways, from light to energy, to the glorious weather that draws us here."

The team will play its first seasons in an upgraded and expanded waterfront stadium just north of downtown Tampa that it will share with Howard W. Blake High School. Located along the Hillsborough River in Tampa’s West Riverfront neighborhood, the club will spend more than $4 million to upgrade the facility.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.