ORLANDO, Fla. — The man who helped bring professional basketball to Orlando seeks to do the same thing with professional baseball.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams said he wants to create a Major League Baseball team in Orlando called the Orlando Dreamers.
He said he called the MLB commissioner’s office Wednesday and left him a message about his plan.
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When asked about a location for a stadium, Williams said that he will not start searching for one until he can gauge Central Florida residents' interest in supporting such a franchise.
He said that professional baseball has not worked well in Miami or Tampa but that he is convinced the Orlando market would be different.
Williams said even if 2% of the region's tourists watch the games, the team would draw 1.6 million people per year. He said he thinks the team could eventually draw 3 million people per year.
He said he now waits to see how much the community is willing to embrace the proposed team.
"We're the largest market that doesn't have a Major League Baseball team or an NFL team," Williams said.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said during a recent appearance on "Central Florida Spotlight" that he would be on board with such a team.
"You know I'm a fan and passionate about baseball," he said. "So if there is a way to do it, I would probably be down for that."
He said he would push for another stadium near downtown Orlando to complement the Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and Exploria Stadium.
Watch Wednesday's news conference below:
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