City of Orlando Commissioners Unanimously Approve Funding For Soccer Stadium

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ORLANDO, Fla.— The City of Orlando Board of Commissioners voted through the approval of funds for a new downtown, multi-purpose soccer stadium Monday afternoon in downtown Orlando. The vote moves the club one step closer toward bringing a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to Orlando, with the Orange County Commissioners vote on October 22 the final stage in completion of stadium funding.

“This is obviously a very big step toward our goal of bringing MLS,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “I am delighted to have the City behind us so we can now focus on the second vote that is only two weeks away.”

Supporters came out to the event to show the support of the vote, which was unanimous among the six Commissioners and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. The vote approved the use of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds for multiple venues, including a soccer stadium.

“There are significant days in our community and this is one of them,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Hopefully we have another one later this month.“

The final step on funding for a stadium will occur on Tuesday, October 22, at the County Administration Building. Pending the County approval of the stadium plan, Orlando would be able to enter into final negotiations with MLS to award an expansion team to Central Florida.

Since MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that MLS would have four expansion franchises by the end of the decade, Orlando has been one of the clear favorites to fill one of the spots. The other three spots have been rumored to be going to Miami, Atlanta, and San Antonio.

Former LA Galaxy star, David Beckham is currently in talks with MLS to bring MLS to FIU Stadium, however, the former English National Team captain must decide soon as his $25 Million buy-in clause is set to expire at the end of the year. 90 Minutes Strong has been monitoring the MLS Miami situation very closely and sources have confirmed to us that Beckham will have his decision sometime before December.

Could it be a December to remember for Miami MLS fans? For now, Orlando fans are on cloud-nine, and rightfully so.

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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