Orlando move closer to getting a soccer specific stadium.
Central Florida’s two top mayors have agreed to a deal that could put a new $85 million stadium downtown and bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orlando, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Mayor of Orlando Buddy Dyer has coveted the chance to land an MLS team and had already started buying millions of dollars’ worth of land for it downtown.
The deal includes a $20 million pledge for the stadium that’s contingent on Orlando landing an expansion team in MLS. $30 million is apparently coming from Orlando City SC, whose ownership has made the team’s MLS ambitions clear.
Other points of the deal include:
•An additional $25 million, spread across five years, to boost tourism marketing. The county already budgeted $36 million next fiscal year to Visit Orlando, which promotes local tourism.
•A $25 million payout to get the stalled second phase of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts completed. Jacobs had pledged this earlier this year, and if boosters meet certain fundraising thresholds, it should allow them to complete the complex by 2018.
•The Citrus Bowl is already slated for $191 million in renovations. But it would get an additional $12 million, which boosters say enhances its chances of landing more premier sports events.
•An additional $10 million in convention-center improvements — on top of $187 million in upgrades planned during the next five years that the county had already approved.
•A separate $2.5 million would be earmarked for sports-marketing efforts to attract major events. That effort would be handled by the Central Florida Sports Commission through Visit Orlando.