Location confirmed for proposed soccer-specific stadium in Orlando

OrlandoCity (Google Maps)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After months of speculation, the city of Orlando has confirmed an exact location for what it hopes will be the future home of a Major League Soccer franchise.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told a local news station Wednesday evening that the city has purchased an area of land in the city’s downtown area for $8.2 million.

The land for the proposed $110 million soccer-specific stadium is a few blocks away from the Amway Center, the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and Orlando City SC’s current home at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

“I can tell you with certainty that is where we would like to construct the stadium,” Dyer said. “That’s the perfect location. We have the parking already associated with the other facilities in the downtown area.”

The location of the proposed stadium is just a few blocks from Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic play, and about eight blocks from the Citrus Bowl, where Orlando City currently plays. You can see the Amway center on the right side of the above map, with the Citrus Bowl located on the left edge of the map (the red A icon is where the proposed soccer stadium will be built).

Records indicate that the land was purchased for more than four times its appraised value, but Dyer said that the city did not overpay for it.

If the stadium is built, Orlando City Soccer will reportedly pay $80 million to $100 million.

Under Florida law, MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL teams can get state funding for the construction of new stadiums. The state legislature is expected to decide on whether MLS will qualify for the same funding.

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55 Responses to Location confirmed for proposed soccer-specific stadium in Orlando

  1. Jay in Florida says:

    Awesome hopefully we can get a team down in Florida, it’s been long overdo.

    • Travis says:

      Long overdue? You have had multiple teams fail miserably down there and disappear. I think Orlando is a good candidate and have made a great push but to say long overdue isnt really true to me.

      • Jay in Florida says:

        We haven’t had a team in Florida in years, so yes it has been long overdo. I admit that Miami Fusion and that Tampa Team Failed yes but I live in South Florida and the closes team of proximity is D.C. United in Maryland that’s like 10 to 12 hour drive versus the two in a half hour drive to Orlando. So excuse me for being genuinely excited to have the prospects of gaining an MLS club down here.

        • andrew says:

          You may be excited at the prospect of getting a franchise, but you certainly aren’t excited to learn from your mistakes and properly spell overdue.

          • bluewhitelion says:

            okay, spell check police, I saw that, too. phew, now I can rest in peace. . . in other news, Fusion did not fail. They certainly struggled. But attendance and buzz were trending up, in spite of the not-so-desirable location of Lockhart Stadium, when the owner pulled the plug. Not minimizing their obstacles, but they were building momentum. Their final year was marked by playoff success that could have been something good to build on. KC took a LONG time to gain a foothold. They are starting to establish and expand, now. I believe the Fusion could have had similar success.

          • Jay in Florida says:

            Way to nitpick there buddy, my apologies overdue*. To be honest i didn’t really follow soccer in the usa seriously until after the 2006 world cup at age 17. I’m not here to tell my life story but I have become a big fan of the MLS and the fusion is was before my time (in terms of being an MLS fan) I would really like to have a team to follow closely. I only watch as a neutral and like certain teams because of my favorite players like Henry @ Redbulls or Beckham formerly of the LA Galaxy, etc.

        • NE Revs says:

          Jay in Florida, I hate to break the news to you but you have three teams in Florida. Support your local football and MLS will come. It’s that simple. Philly did it. Seattle did it. Portland did it. You can do it.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          link to en.wikipedia.org

      • PD says:

        sounds like another a bitter NY fan….

        • Jay in Florida says:

          That explains it

          • Rory Miller says:

            Good thing that teams stadium will be downtown, all those relocated New Yorkers aren’t going to travel 30 minutes to see their team!

        • Travis says:

          I live in Seattle and have no desire to see NY get a 2nd team, would much rather see one in the SE area. I just don’t get how a state that has two teams fold can say they are long overdue

          • Jay in Florida says:

            As a resident of South Florida I can say there is a huge soccer following down here we have people from all over the world down here, there should be a team down here, it’s baffling that the MLS and/or the Tampa and Miami area gave up on the franchises, I don’t know the story behind it but due to obvious proximity reasons for me, international representation and population. In my opinion it’s over due it’s been 16 years since Florida has had a Francine

    • Grammar Nazi says:

      Can i just chime in, overdue*

      • bob snap says:

        Grammar Nazi, your name is incongruous with your sentence: Can i just chime in, overdue*”It should read like this to be grammatically correct: “Can I just chime in? Overdue.

    • Rey De OCSC says:

      South Florida and Tampa are NOT good soccer cities. I was born and raised in Miami. MLS will do ok there the first season but after that they’ll be Chivas USA. Orlando is different we are passionate about football here. MLS will thrive. Plus this SSS is in a great location. 1 block from the Amway and 3 from Church St entertainment. I live literally 11 minutes from this site. Going to matches will be no problem.

  2. PD says:

    will it be a covered stadium? i’m thinking august matches will be murder for players and fans alike…

    • NC Jeff says:

      No worries … if MLS doesn’t start using the calendar most of the rest of the world uses, they will probably never be very relevant (in a world-wide view).

      • slowleftarm says:

        Hey Jeff, I invite you to come sit outside for a few hours in the northern half of the US in December and January and then tell me that MLS should use the “worldwide” calendar. Try leaving the eurosnob dogma aside.

        • Chill Winston says:

          Hey slowleftarm – I invite you to man up and simply make an argument without dropping ‘eurosnob’ anytime someone slightly threatens the sanctity of your beloved MLS.

          So what if NC Jeff has the opinion that you need to change to a winter schedule? Answer him like a person who has a brain rather than some kind of walking cliche who sounds like he was born in a passive-aggressive test tube.

          Do so and you’ll make all us Americans, those who are MLS fans and fans of other leagues around the world, sound a lot more intelligent.

      • andrew says:

        Yawn…..Calendar has nothing to do with worldwide relevance. Footy is played year round. That argument its getting old.

      • Clyde Frog says:

        If MLS can be as “relevant” as the Brazilian League I will be pretty happy.

    • Ryan says:

      Certainly not as bad as Houston.

  3. Vic says:

    Great news. Always great to put a stadium in a downtown area. Hopefully Orlando join MLS.

  4. Futbolisto says:

    I grew up in Orlando and I can tell you that area is really dangerous. Especially around Parramore Ave. wondering if there are plans to spruce up the surrounding area.

    • drew11 says:

      Yes, that is the plan.

    • Adam says:

      I am with you. I live on the east side of Orlando and that section of town is rough but it is close to the Church St. section of downtown (cleaner and safer) and it does make strategic sense. You can get there easily from both I-4 and 408 (the yellow highway on the map) and it is downtown in the city, not out near Disney. Frankly, I cannot wait to have a team and I believe this city is ready to embrace am MLS franchise as well.

    • Adam Henckler says:

      There’s no way to sugar coat it, Parramore is still the roughest neighborhood in Orlando, but I was surprised to hear how much it has turned around. Violent Crimes are down over 80% since 2005, murders are down over 80%, event thefts/robberies are down over 70%. The Mayor and OPD have dumped a lot of resources into Parramore since 2010 to reduce crime. Drug dealing and other crimes are still common on specific corners at off hours, but the area has improved overall. I was surprised to learn that Parramore had less overall crime reports so far this year than the Orange Ave section of downtown. Interesting.

    • bryan says:

      i’m sure they do. i remember when the Nationals decided to build their stadium in another part of the Anacostia area in D.C. (Southeast). really rough area but they put a lot of money into it. DC United are in the same neighborhood.

    • MB says:

      I’ve never understood people’s worry about stadiums being in “dangerous areas”. Your not buying a house there. You are making a few trips there every year to watch a sports game, along with thousands of other people, with police all over the place. Get over it.

  5. Josh D says:

    Orlando – 1
    NY v2 – 0

  6. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    What happened to MLS’ NYC stadium? After that town hall nothing else has happened.

  7. pgloerse says:

    As one of the many fans that had to deal with the Citrus Bowl during the opening night deluge – covered sections makes me oh so happy.

  8. Love the downtown location but I thought I heard that they were partnering and building it at Disney? I wonder which location is better for drawing fans?

    • Josh D says:

      I haven’t read anything about them working with Disney. But if they can manage to get Disney’s marketing might behind them, Orlando could be huge. Even if they do have to settle with MIckey’s silhouette on their jersey…

  9. slowleftarm says:

    This looks like a great plan and Orlando seems like exactly the kind of club MLS should be looking to add. Hopefully they come to their senses in the league office and stop the obsession with the former failed NASL team trying to build a stadium in Long Island.

  10. WorldCitizen says:

    Well, if people have no problem showing up for Magic games in that same “rough neighborhood,” I doubt Central Florida soccer fans will stay away due to the location.

    • Rory Miller says:

      Get some proper hooligans and the criminals will stay away! (joking)

    • francis says:

      Sports venues invariably get built in deprived areas because the affluent folks who attend the events don’t want stadiums in their backyards. The old Amway arena was in Parramore, as is the Citrus bowl. The torrid summer heat/storms in O-Town will be a bigger issue than crime

    • NE Revs says:

      Yes. BBVA compass stadium isn’t located in the best part of town but on game day it’s not a problem. I don’t see why Orlando would be any different.

  11. el paso tx mike says:

    MLS needs to go for 26 teams , having 13 teams in each conference, giving that the east has a buffet of MLS markets and the west has enough. the scheduling is another story but 26 teams is perfect for the league.

    • andrew says:

      Out of curiosity, where would you put the additional 7 teams? Personally I can only really think of 4 decent options off the top of my head:NY,MIA or Orlando, Atlanta, &a 4th Canadian franchise. Those seem most realistic to me (in no particular order).

      • H-Town says:

        San Antonio and maybe St Louis. Edmonton or Calgary would be the 4th Canadian … Add that to NY, Orlando, Atlanta.

      • el paso tx mike says:

        west: san diego, phoenix , tucson , san francisco, las vegas, tulsa, oklahoma , albuquerque, el paso, austin , san antonio , canadian west city.
        east: miami , orlando , tampa bay, atlanta, NC-SC city , tennessee city, alabama city , baltimore , detroit , st.louis, minnesota , indianapolis, pittsburgh, cleveland, canadian east city , louisville,.
        Many markets to select from but money and stadium talk.
        for example the city I live in el paso, texas wants to make a $120million SSS downtown or close to dowtown in 5 to 7 years.

  12. Rey De OCSC says:

    This is a great spot for the SSS. One block from the Amway and three blocks from Church St entertainment. Orlando is a amazing soccer city and OCSC is becoming more popular here every day. We DESIRE mls here. Orlando City SC has the organization,the fanbase and the team. MLS here will thrive. We can be a worldwide icon/mls icon.

    • Joe says:

      Well sonuvabitch then! If you can be a worldwide/mls icon, score! I think that is a little bit of hyperbole, but Orlando can flourish easily. I think NY2 is ridiculous in the sense that Red Bulls fans hardly come out and the city is too flush with other options. It’s asking a lot for the Cosmos to succeed in an overly saturated market, though I do understand historical and stadium location appeal.

  13. Sean Doyle says:

    I think the issues with weather (heat/humidity/storms) are overblown. I’ve cheered my lungs out for the Union in near 100 degree in muggy southeastern PA summers. DC United’s faithful endure the humid summers in our capital. Fans in Houston and Dallas turn out to support their teams in the blast furnace that is a Texas summer. Sporting Park is packed with supporters when temps push 100. Everyone has to deal with summer thunderstorms.

    If you build the stadium with a roof that shields fans for Florida’s sun and rain while allowing breezes thru the seating area and field of play and schedule most matches for the evening, all will be AOK.

  14. Revs won't ever build a SSS says:

    This is great to hear – congrats Orlando. Maybe the revs can re-locate there since they’re never going to build one in Boston.

  15. OCSC2013 says:

    9,100+ for OCSC v. LA Blues tonight, Fri. 4/19/13.

    MLS in Orlando is a powderkeg waiting for the fuse to be lit. The Parramore area isn’t a problem, and won’t be; there’s a half dozen worse areas around the region. Having at least partially covered seating similar to SKC or Houston will make a large difference for the heat during the summer. But after 4th of July weekend, the main issue here is humidity anyway, because the heat levels off between then and Labor Day Weekend, so evening kickoff times will help that a ton. You just sweat a lot, but it’s not burning hot. It’s hotter in Atlanta or Houston or Philly or DC during that part of the summer, but the heavier humidity in Orlando makes it seem worse; fact is, once you get a sweat going, you just about cool off, anyway. That’s great for cheering at a soccer match, but doesn’t work at all, for example, on the golf course. We’ll be standing the whole time anyway, so it’s not like anyone’s expecting a comfy, cozy evening as if we were lounging around a restaurant or something.

  16. OCSC2013 says:

    One other thing: Disney has no part in this, they will have no part in this, and neither their presence nor their participation are wanted or needed. They can conduct the pre-season tourney at the Wide World of Sports each February, but they will have no part in Orlando City SC’s birth or growth.