Commentary

Orlando stadium project gains support from Florida Senate

By Paul Kennedy

While New York looks set to become the 20th member of MLS, that doesn't mean that Orlando has lost hope of getting an MLS club.

Orlando's bid to build a soccer stadium necessary to attract an MLS team got a boost Monday evening when Bill SB-306 passed the Florida Senate. It now goes to the Florida House of Representatives.

Passage of the bill would not solve all of the downtown Orlando stadium's funding needs but it would be a symbolic gesture that the state of Florida is behind the project and treats MLS on equal terms with other sports leagues.

The bill would specifically add Major League Soccer teams -- in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida -- to the list of pro clubs that could receive funding from Florida for stadium projects.

USL PRO ATTENDANCE WATCH. For the second week in a row, Orlando City set a club regular-season attendance record with a crowd of 9,589 for Saturday's game against Dayton at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The crowd was bigger than last week's other seven games combined that USL PRO clubs hosted.

The Real Salt Lake Reserves drew a crowd of 8,236 in the cold on a Monday night for its MLS/USL PRO interleague match with FC Phoenix marked by a first-half brawl.

USL PRO Attendance, Week 6:
CROWD MATCH
9,589 Orlando City-Dayton
3,262 Charleston-Pittsburgh
1,817 Harrisburg-Rochester
1,427 Phoenix FC-Wilmington
657 Los Angeles-Wilmington
623 Charlotte-Pittsburgh
553 VSI Tampa Bay FC-Dayton
486 Charlotte-Orlando City

PEAK AT PUMA SHOE. Argentine Sergio Aguero and Colombian Radamel Falcao will wear the new evoSPEED 1.2 Camo this weekend in matches for Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, respectively. They are a teaser for the evoSPEED 1.2, which is launching May 15.

(Click here for a look at the video Puma has been working with Falcao on ....)
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1 comment about "Orlando stadium project gains support from Florida Senate".
  1. Daniel Suter, April 30, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.

    Why should New York get another MLS team? Los Angeles has two but one has never been a strong team. Why not consider soccer cities like Minneapolis, Detroit, Rochester, Atlanta, or Orlando.
    I remember when Florida had two very good teams and, instead of moving those teams intact to another city (because of seemingly low attendance), the MLS admin, disbanded those excellent teams fron Florida and allowed other teams to cherry pick the individual players. Why?
    The southeast or upper midwest needs to be represented in MLS.

    Fred Suter
    Westerville, OH

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