Seminole County and Orlando City Reach Agreement on New Soccer Training Center Partnership at Lake Sylvan Park
Renovated Facility will expand Economic Benefits of Professional and Youth Soccer in County
ORLANDO – August 26, 2014 – Seminole County Board of Commissioners today voted unanimously 5-0 in support of an agreement which secures Orlando City Soccer Club’s newest training facility within the County’s Lake Sylvan Park complex. In exchange for use of the County’s existing training center and two of its six soccer fields, Orlando City agreed to build four new soccer fields for community use in Seminole County and create several new community soccer programs.
The Lake Sylvan Training Facility was developed with high-quality soccer in mind. Built in 1993, the site has hosted teams from across the globe, including long-term training stints by the U.S. Women’s National Team prior to winning two world championships (1996 Olympics and the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup), as well as multiple men’s national teams prior to the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup from Canada, China, Ireland, Sweden, U.A.E. and the United States.
Today’s announcement provides the new MLS Club with a world-class training facility and further solidifies the Club’s commitment to increasing soccer activities in Seminole County. Orlando City Youth Soccer currently operates the Seminole Soccer Complex, featuring 11 full-size soccer fields, which is located less than a quarter-mile away. The two facilities combined will allow Orlando City to expand upon its existing commitments to Seminole County to create economic development opportunities via soccer-related activities. In addition, Orlando City’s new training home further enhances existing community youth programs and opportunities by creating a premier venue to host more professional teams, national teams, youth tournaments and ancillary activities in the County.
“This partnership will expand the economic benefits generated by professional soccer in the Central Florida region,” said Orlando City President and Founder Phil Rawlins. “It not only creates a world class training facility that will place Orlando City near the top of MLS practice facilities, but it provides opportunities to host youth and other professional teams throughout the year – teams that will stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and spend money in our community.
“Lake Sylvan has been our training home since the start and we are excited to be here for the long-term,” Rawlins continued. “This partnership also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the community by delivering programs and benefits including educational initiatives and new recreational fields.”
As part of the agreement, Orlando City will utilize a portion of Lake Sylvan Park’s 13,000 square foot building and receive exclusive use of fields E and F for training activities. In exchange, Orlando City will fund the construction of four new soccer fields strictly for community use on County property at East Lake Mary Boulevard. The Club will also partner with Seminole County on a number of youth initiatives including:
• Player and mascot appearances throughout the County,
• After-school and weekend programs to promote soccer, general health and fitness,
• Educational activities supporting healthy lifestyle choices, and
• Mentorship opportunities to promote education and highlight the dangers of drugs, alcohol and violence.