• Leaders work to find way to build soccer stadium in downtown Orlando


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County leaders met Monday in an effort to save plans for a soccer stadium. Funding for the stadium wasn't included in the state budget Gov. Rick Scott just signed.

    The owners of the Orlando City Soccer Club met with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs at her office Monday afternoon.

    They said their mission is to do everything they can to get a backup plan to fund stadium construction up and running fast.

    Orlando City suffered a major league soccer setback in Tallahassee, but the club is confident the game's not over yet.

    "Did you get a promise from the mayor that she will be on board?" Channel 9's Mark Joyella asked club president Phil Rawlins.

    "She's very, very supportive of soccer. She wants to see major league soccer here, and she's talking about what she can do to help us make that a reality," said Rawlins.

    In a statement, Jacobs said, "Monday's meeting with the team's ownership was very productive. Over the coming weeks, we will continue our conversation in hopes of reaching an agreement that is mutually beneficial."

    Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he had hoped a state sales tax rebate used to bring baseball, basketball and football teams would help to build a soccer stadium on city-owned land in the Parramore area of Orlando. The plan passed the state senate, but died in the house. But the idea of building in Parramore remains very much alive.

    "Parramore is certainly an ideal location for the stadium. We'd love to have it there, and (Major League Soccer) would love it there as well. It's the perfect urban location for us," said Rawlins.

    Orlando City's owners are being very careful not to talk specifics, but the focus remains on a stadium, in Parramore, with public funding.

    They said they hope to have an announcement to make soon.

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    Leaders work to find way to build soccer stadium in downtown Orlando