ORLANDO, Fla.— The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted through the approval of funds for a new downtown, multi-purpose soccer stadium Tuesday afternoon. With the funding plan now complete, Orlando City SC executives will now enter into final negotiations with Major League Soccer (MLS) to bring a franchise to Orlando.
“We are ecstatic about the positive vote,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “Our fans have been the driving force behind the effort to bring MLS to Orlando. This one is for them.”
The vote approved the use of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds for multiple venues, including a soccer stadium. The City of Orlando unanimously approved the funding on October 7, completing the financial structure of the proposed soccer stadium.
Club officials have stated that, with approval of funding for a downtown stadium, a franchise could be awarded as early as November. The Lions would begin play in MLS in Spring 2015.
“We’d like Orlando to be the next expansion team,” MLS Preisdent Abbott said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel Monday. “We have in place a number of the factors that we think are needed to be successful, a strong leadership group and a strong fan base. Once we finalize (a stadium plan), we will have a Major League Soccer team here.”
For more information on the effort to bring MLS to Orlando, stay tuned to OrlandoCitySoccer.com.