[MLS EXPANSION]The site of Orlando City's downtown soccer stadium has shifted one block west of the original location near West Church Street and Parramore Avenue as the city of Orlando ended its efforts to purchase the land for the stadium on the site of an existing church.
The move ends the threat of an eminent domain lawsuit against Faith Deliverance Temple, the only available option available to the city after the church refused to sell. The city offered $4 million; the church wanted $30 million
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyerannounced the move on Monday.
“We applaud the Mayor for finding an alternative solution that is a win for everyone involved,” said Orlando City president Phil Rawlins in a statement. “The new location allows us to remain on schedule to play our matches in the new stadium starting with the home opener in 2016. Our fans will benefit from added amenities created by the new location such as more entertainment areas prior to and after the matches.
Initial seating for the stadium is still expected to be for approximately 19,500 fans, and it will still have a dedicated supporters’ stand, stadium club and suites. Orlando City announced it will form a committee of Parramore leaders to help designers incorporate elements of the community into the stadium complex.
Orlando City will play its first MLS season, 2015, in the Citrus Bowl and plans on moving into its new stadium in 2016.