Florida State Legislature Approves Key Stadium Funding Bill
Additional funds will assist in developing one of Major League Soccer's premier facilities
Orlando, Fla. – The Florida State Legislature made a monumental decision on Friday, May 2, by voting in support of a Bill that sets forth a comprehensive new process for Florida-based professional sports teams to apply for stadium construction funds in exchange for the teams guaranteeing a specific amount of future new State sales tax generated as a result of the construction.
The final step required in the process is a signature by Governor Rick Scott which is expected to occur.
“We are delighted with the passing of this Bill,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “The additional funding will allow us to make several key upgrades to the design of the new stadium to make it one of the best venues in MLS.”
The approval of the Bill provides key additional funding for the Orlando City downtown stadium that is set for construction one block west of the Amway Center. In addition to Orlando City’s contribution, previous public funding for the stadium has already been provided by the City of Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County.
The OCSC multi-purpose stadium was planned to move forward with construction regardless of the outcome of the Florida Legislative Session, but the additional funds will assist in developing one of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) premier facilities.
Prior to today’s vote, MLS was the only major professional sports league in the State of Florida that was ineligible to receive the sales tax rebate.
The downtown stadium is scheduled to open prior to the 2016 MLS season, with the Club announcing last month that the Lions will play its entire inaugural MLS season in the reconstructed Florida Citrus Bowl, rather than switching venues midway through the season.
Orlando City has already begun accepting season ticket deposits for the 2015 MLS season, allowing fans the opportunity to secure their place in the Club’s historic opening MLS campaign. The $50 deposit per seat is fully refundable and will allow Season Ticket Members to also secure their seating priority and indicate preference of their seating location.