Club continuing to make strides in stadium effort

Photo: Mark Thor

The City of Orlando officially approved $2 million of funding from Seminole County toward a downtown, multi-purpose soccer stadium Monday afternoon. Originally finalized two weeks ago by Seminole, the final approval was received today by City Commissioners. The additional funds continue to build upon momentum of securing funding for a stadium, moving closer to a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Orlando.

“This is another step toward bringing a MLS franchise to the Central Florida area,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “The approval by Seminole County proves that a stadium and MLS team is a true economic benefit to the entire Central Florida region.“

The Lions have a big presence in Seminole, with both Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and Seminole Soccer Complex (where the pro team trains) located in the County. The $2 million in funding is tied to guaranteed hotel room nights associated with the facilities.

“We get a lot of [hotel] room nights when the team is here,” County Commissioner Brenda Carey said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “So the whole economy benefits, and not just in Seminole but in the region.”

Orlando City is awaiting the final votes by both the City and County Board of Commissioners on the approval of $20 million Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds. The votes represent the final funding source needed to complete plans for a new downtown soccer stadium. They are expected to occur in the next month.

Upon finalizing the stadium plan, Orlando would be able to move forward with its negotiations with MLS to award an expansion team to Central Florida.

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Teams GP Pts
Orlando City SC 28 62
Sacramento Republic FC 28 55
LA Galaxy II 28 51
Richmond Kickers 28 51
Charleston Battery 28 41