Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
In the push to bring Major League Soccer to central Florida, the state Senate passed a bill Monday that would open up funding to help build a new $100 million soccer stadium in Orlando.
Mayor Buddy Dyer urged legislators to act on the city's request to expand sales tax rebates, currently used for sports that include football and the NBA, to include soccer.
Teams like Orlando City Soccer would have priority for the tax rebates because it brings a new professional franchise to the state.
Orlando City Soccer team President Phil Rawlins said Monday's vote was an important step.
The bill now moves to the House. Rawlins said fans should call, text and tweet legislators in Tallahassee.
A new stadium is considered one of the final steps in bringing a major league soccer franchise to Orlando.
Without the funding, the club fears Major League Soccer may choose Atlanta or Nashville for expansion and skip Orlando.