Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
From Orlando City Soccer Club:
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer agreed to a deal that will complete funding of a downtown multi-purpose soccer stadium, one of the final steps the club has to bringing a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to town. Announced after the Tourist Development Council (TDC) meeting in downtown Orlando Friday afternoon, the deal includes a $20 million pledge for the stadium- which will be put up to a final vote to the Orange County as well as City of Orlando Board of Commissioners at a later date.
“We’re one of the few communities in the country that can build outstanding facilities,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “ We are excited to be able to potentially bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orange County.“
The two mayors made the announcement after the club and three other groups made presentations to the TDC, which unanimously approved a plan that included funding of a multi-purpose soccer stadium. A recommendation will be given to the Orange County Board of Commissioners, who will ultimately have the final vote of approval.
“We are delighted to have the support of the tourism industry and the TDC,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins after the meeting. “We look forward to working with the Board of Commissioners over the next few weeks as we make this thing a reality.”
Friday’s meeting completed the second of two public workshops in which the club made its case to complete a financing plan using TDT. Orlando City President Phil Rawlins presented to the Orange County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, following up with a presentation to the Tourist Development Council on Friday. Both workshops were held at the County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.
“Orlando nets a big goal,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “With the addition of soccer, we’re marrying the world’s most popular game with the #1 tourist destination.”
Securing a stadium-funding plan will allow club officials to complete expansion negotiations with Major League Soccer (MLS) with the goal to have a franchise awarded in 2013. The team would begin play in MLS by Spring 2015.