Not since the days of the Mutiny has there been so much hope for a Major League Soccer team in Tampa.
"What we're hoping we will achieve is a transformational aspect for Tampa so the world out there could see it's a soccer destination," said developer John Mitchell of VSI Tampa Bay.
He's talking about a grand opening in March 2016.
His company would build Tampa's own stadium with a retractable roof, a sports medicine facility and a training ground all in one.
Mitchell believes Tampa is ready for pro-soccer transformation
He's hoping to create a downtown destination with a soccer stadium built to major league specifications. He plans to find private investors to turn Tampa into a soccer town.
"We've made no bones about it our long-term goals are LNS status. To do that, you have to have the right facilities," Mitchell said.
But would another team in an area struggling to fill seats in a pro-baseball and pro-football stadium be able to support soccer?
"I don't know. It's hard to say. I would be wary about it just because I've never seen it full before," said Lauren MacTavise.
"Soccer doesn't have as big of a following as football, but on the other hand, if you bring that in and make it big here Tampa is a kind of a melting pot of a town there's a lot of people from all over America here," said Micah Anderson.
However, filling a 28,000 seat soccer stadium would be easier than a 65,000 seat football stadium.
"When you have twenty thousand people in Raymond James it looks ridiculous. But when you have twenty thousand people in a 25,000 seat stadium it looks better for television purposes, and it's a different atmosphere," said Matt Wyatt.
"Tampa has a really rich soccer history. A lot of ex-players live there," said George Quaraishi.
Quraishi is a Jesuit grad who now publishes Howler magazine, a publication devoted to all things soccer.
"I used to go to Mutiny games, and I always pulled for Tampa to get another MLS because I think it's a great place for soccer growing up playing soccer there. I know there are a lot of people who are in to the game," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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