October 23, 2013

Orlando City Soccer Club Stadium funding approved; Next up is MLS approval

Orlando City SC received the news they had longed for on Tuesday afternoon when the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted in favour of a new downtown, multi-purpose soccer stadium through the approval of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds.

The next stage of the process in order for the Florida side to complete its plan, will be finalise its negotiations with Major League Soccer (MLS) in order to bring a franchise to the city.

“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 City of Orlando had previously approved the funding on October 7, which completed the financial structure of the proposed soccer stadium and with officials from the Lions being granted the funding, they have stated that the club could now be approved for a MLS franchise as early as November, with play starting in the Spring of 2015.
MLS President Abbott said :
“We thank the Orange County and City of Orlando Board of Commissioners for their support to build a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando’” said MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott. 
“We also would like to thank Flavio Augusto da Silva, Phil Rawlins and their staff for their passion and commitment to bring a Major League Soccer team to Orlando. We look forward to working with the Orlando City SC ownership group to finalize an expansion agreement.”

It looks like the South East will eventually have an MLS side to call it's own. The next question will be who will be joining them.

San Antonio, Miami and Atlanta have all been vying for a franchise spot within the MLS, with commissioner Don Garber having confirmed that all three were being looked at for future expansion as the top tier soccer league looks to reach its expansion level of 24 clubs by 2020.

For now though, it's a day to savour for the Lions as they finally look like being the next MLS franchise club.

You can follow Region3Soccer on Twitter @region3soccer

- See more at: http://www.region3soccer.com/2013/10/orlando-city-soccer-club-stadium.html#sthash.8XO0NFFm.dpuf

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