Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Mayors line up behind Orlando stadium deal
by Paul Kennedy, August 9th, 2013 2:54AM
Subscribe to Soccer Business Insider

TAGS:  mls, soccer business


By Paul Kennedy

Is it too good to be true? Less than a year ago, no plans were in place, and Orlando officials were just starting to check out what other cities have done in terms of building MLS soccer stadiums.

No stadium proposal has moved along as quickly as Orlando City SC's plans for the construction of a $85 million soccer stadium in downtown Orlando necessary to win approval for an MLS expansion team.

And Orlando City SC moved one step closer to securing funding Thursday when Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reached an agreement on a deal to provide financial support for a variety of Orlando projects.

The agreement, whose outline Jacobs and Dyer are expected to announce on Friday, calls for $94.5 million in tourism tax revenues and bonds to be used to contribute $20 million to the soccer stadium, complete pay for phase two on a performing-arts center and pay for enhancements to renovations of the Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando City's current home in USL PRO.

To say the least, Orlando is undergoing a construction boom. The 77-year-old Citrus Bowl, a World Cup 1994 venue, needs extensive work, and $191 million was committed for renovations even though it is only used for a few single-event college football games each year and Orlando City SC matches (until it gets a home of its own). The additional enhancements will add another $12 million to the cost of the project.

Additional money in the $94.5 million package Jacobs and Dyer agreed to will go toward improvements to the Orange County Convention Center and tourism and sports event marketing over the next five years. Local tourism interests had pushed back hard on plans for the sports facilities without an agreement on supporting tourism, the city's No. 1 industry.

The rest of the cost of $85 million for the soccer stadium will be paid for by Orlando City SC or from other public sources. The city of Orlando has been buying up downtown parcels to create the site for the stadium.

Dyer has been behind the project, but getting Jacobs on board is a coup for the Orlando soccer stadium supporters. The deal will still need approval of county commissioners, and Orlando City SC will still need approval from MLS on its own plans for the club.

Will it all go smoothly? The Orlando Sentinel reported that several citizens groups oppose the soccer stadium, though the head of one group does not believe it will matter.

"A lot of people have gotten the feeling that the elected officials are in the pocket of the individuals who are behind this," Doug Head, president of the bipartisan watchdog group CountyWatch, said before Thursday's announcement. "The public just gives up because they are going to do what they are going to do. Resistance is futile."
Soccer America on Twitter:
Follow Soccer America | Paul Kennedy | Ridge Mahoney | Mike Woitalla
Google+: Soccer America
Facebook: Soccer America
Soccer Business Insider RSS feed

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer Business Insider
Donovan case study: turning a negative into a positive    
So what's happens to a star from a marketing perspective when things go wrong? How do ...
Top 10 soccer television stories of the year    
It is almost impossible to go a day without finding live soccer somewhere on television. Most ...
U.S. Soccer renews Nike deal through 2022    
Nike, a U.S. Soccer partner since 1995, will be providing men's and women's national team uniforms ...
Mizuno cleats hit U.S. market     
Mizuno, the century-old Japanese company that entered the U.S. market in 1961 and has specialized in ...
Signs of progress on D.C. stadium plans    
The proposal for the D.C. United stadium to be built in Washington's Buzzard Point neighborhood could ...
Miami 'giddy' about soccer, New York? Not so much    
Miami-Dade County commissioners have demonstrated their support for soccer. Just what that gets David Beckham and ...
NYCFC eyes Bronx stadium site; Miami Beckham United gets on agenda    
It will take an Edwin Moses-type to cleanly clear all the hurdles that lie ahead for ...
MLS Cup viewers on UniMas surpass those on ESPN    
Saturday's MLS Cup drew the fewest English-language viewers on record, so few in fact that the ...
Team Beckham eyes Miami stadium site by the bay    
You can't say David Beckham doesn't think big.
FIFA-adidas partnership extended through 2030    
The World Cup and adidas are synonymous, their relationship going back to the 1970 World Cup ...
>> Soccer Business Insider Archives