Orlando City Honors Parramore, Unveils Historic Panel For Stadium


On Friday, Orlando City cut the ribbon to officially unveil the new downtown stadium. The stadium sits the neighborhood of Parramore, which has suffered historically from poverty and lack of opportunity. Orlando City acknowledged their history, excited to for both the community and the club to lift each other up.

To honor Parramore, Orlando City unveiled a six panel historical display that illustrates the rich history of the people living in the community. The display will be a permanent addition to the stadium, on display outside the east gates. Kay Rawlins explained its importance to the stadium.

“In recognition of the rich history of this neighborhood, we formed an advisory committee to working collaboratively on a permanent memorial for this stadium,” Rawlins said. “Six panels, which will be located on the east side of the stadium, will highlight some of the memorable people and buildings of Parramore,” Rawlins said. “We’re gonna be your neighbors and we’re excited to be here.”

City Commissioner Regina Hill, who grew up in Parramore, spoke about her own relationship with the community, and her feelings about the impact that this stadium will have on her neighborhood.

“Today, I walked in and I got a little overwhelmed as I got ready to take my seat. Tears started to flow down my cheeks,” Commissioner Hill said. “I got myself together because I knew this was more than a sport, this was more than playing a game. This was the day, when we cut this ribbon, that little girls and boys that dwell outside of this soccer stadium will be introduced to a magnificent sport called soccer that will give them opportunities outside of Parramore, where they can take advantage of college scholarships.”

Commissioner Hill shared her own story of growing up in Parramore, and explained how getting a job at a stadium helped jump start her career as a nurse. “In 1990, while living on my mother’s couch here in Parramore, I got a job at a stadium. No, it wasn’t $50,000 dollars a year, it wasn’t $100,000 dollars a year. It was $7 dollars an hour, part time. But it gave me the ability to get off that couch and start to feel valuable,” Commissioner Hill said. “From then I went on to become a nurse of 23 years and dared to become a Commissioner. So, today it is so personal, that I am able to help Orlando City Soccer, the mayors, the people, to provide hope and opportunity for my hood, the people of Parramore.”

The partnership between Parramore and Orlando City Soccer Club certainly seems to have a bright future. Kay Rawlins summed it up well. “We are now a part of the Parramore community,” she said. “And we will strive to be good neighbors.”