• Days before Orange County venues vote, commissioners appear to be split


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County commissioners are days away from a vote on a deal that would give $100 million to the county's major venues.

    On Tuesday, county leaders will decide on the package that would provide funding to the Citrus Bowl, Doctor Phillips Performing Arts Center and the controversial soccer stadium.

    The venues plan needs five yes votes to pass, but Channel 9's Lori Brown learned Thursday those votes are far from all there, but there is still a lot of last-minute maneuvering going on.

    Mayor Buddy Dyer, a big proponent of the soccer stadium, even met with Commissioner Pete Clarke in hopes of securing his vote, but the commissioner said he didn’t hear anything to change his mind.

    Clarke said the only way he will vote yes is if Orlando City Soccer agrees to give back to the community in a substantial way. Clark said he wants a percentage of the team's proceeds to go to the county's Parks Department to help operate athletic fields for the public, sort of like interest on a loan.

    "I'm operating as the lender," said Clarke. "Give something back to people who supplied the money, the citizens."

    Orlando City Soccer is continuing to meet with commissioners and has a meeting with Commissioner Fred Brummer on Friday.

    Brummer has said he will vote no unless the team convinces him with solid research that the stadium would generate tourism tax dollars.

    Brummer said he does support funding the convention center, Visit Orlando and the Citrus Bowl portions of the venues package, and he wants to vote on each item separately.

    But Mayor Teresa Jacobs wants the performing arts center, soccer stadium and Citrus Bowl portion to all be voted on together, which could really make an impact on who gets what money.

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    Days before Orange County venues vote, commissioners appear to be split