By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney
Orlando City, the USL PRO club that is seeking to gain Major League Soccer approval as soon as this fall for one of the four expansion franchises MLS will add by 2020, on Tuesday morning made the first of two critical presentations it needs to make this week to local government bodies in its bid to secure funding support to the tune of $20 million for the soccer-specific stadium it hopes to build in downtown Orlando.
The club has Orlando city officials on board and is now seeking the support of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, who will have to approve the use of the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for stadium funding.
Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins made the presentation to the Orange County Board of Commissioners with more than 60 supporters on hand.
“The market is proven,” Rawlins said. “Orlando deserves a second major league franchise, and we can bring it here.”
Among the highlights of his presentation was the club's plan to sign a "Brazilian Beckham," a Brazilian Designated Player for the team's launch.
Orlando City is owned by Brazilian businessman Flavio Augusto da Silva, who moved to Central Florida in 2009.
Next on the agenda for Orlando City is a meeting Thursday with the Tourist Development Council that will review the impact of the club and soccer on the Orlando tourism industry.
--How did Orlando City's presentation go? The Orlando Business Journal has reaction from Orange County commissioners.
ALL CALL TO SCARF DESIGNERS.The Seattle Sounders began their MLS existence in 2009 by mailing season-ticket holders their game tickets enveloped in a special team scarf, and now the fan-friendly club has given its supporters the chance to design the scarf itself.
Budding designers can use up to four colors in designing a scarf that will be distributed to all season-ticket members. The winning designer will receive a Sounders FC Slalom Experience for one 2014 regular-season match. Included in the Experience package are a field-side table (four seats), food and beverages, and parking. More than 32,000 scarves to be distributed at the start of the 2014 season will bear the design.
Submissions will be accepted until Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. PT. All designs must include the Sounders FC crest and utilize a template that can be found at SoundersFC.com/scarfvote.
Once members of the Alliance Council choose five finalists, they and season-ticket members will cast their votes. The scarf designs will be judged on creativity, originality, family-friendly messaging and how well it represents the Sounders match day experience.
The winning design will be announced Sept. 4 during the home match against Chivas USA.
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