Orlando Approves Plan to Build MLS Stadium

MLS Soccer LogoOrlando leaders unanimously approved a plan to build a new professional soccer stadium Monday, leaving one final hurdle in the quest to bring Major League Soccer to town.

The spending plan — if it’s also approved by the Orange County Commission on Oct. 22 — would clear the way for the new stadium to open during Orlando City Soccer Club’s 2015 season. By that time, the minor league team hopes to become the newest MLS expansion franchise.

“It’s fantastic. To have that support, a unanimous vote, was a great result today,” Orlando Lions president Phil Rawlins said. “The marketplace has more than proven itself. It’s a soccer city that’s more than ready to support MLS.”

The $94.5 million agreement approved by a 7-0 vote of the Orlando City Council also includes another $25 million in tourist tax funding for the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center; $12 million for the Citrus Bowl; $27.5 million for tourism ads; and $10 million for improvements to the Orange County Convention Center.

Source: Mark Schlueb, Orlando Snetinel