Orlando City clarifies confusion over leaked stadium renderings

Orlando City Stadium Rendering (Woods Bagot)

By FRANCO PANIZO

The latest images making the rounds online of Orlando City’s proposed soccer-specific stadium may be beautiful, but they are not official or up to date.

Orlando City confirmed to SBI on Sunday that the renderings released last week by architecture firm Woods Bagot that are circulating around the web are not accurate depictions of what the USL PRO club is hoping to call home if it is ever granted entrance into MLS.

Images on Woods Bagot’s website showing the inside and outside of a soccer-specific stadium in Orlando had begun spreading over the weekend before Orlando City released a statement on Sunday afternoon to refute the notion that those renderings were accurate. Woods Bagot has since removed the images from their website.

“The stadium rendering images recently posted on-line by an architecture firm based in Australia were released without knowledge or input from Orlando City Soccer,” said a statement released by Orlando City. “The pictures represent purely prototype drawings developed by an architect not employed by the club who wished to build our potential future stadium.

“Simply put, Orlando City has not yet selected an architect to design the stadium – and will not do so unless both the City & County finalize its portion of funding for the proposed 50/50 percent public-private partnership stadium plan. Orlando City encourages all our fans to learn more, and to express support for the project, at OrlandoBelievesInMLS.com.”

Orlando City are currently still waiting for a final vote from city and county commissioners on their proposed stadium. That city vote is set for Oct. 7 and county vote on Oct. 22. Should both those votes be approved, discussions with MLS would certainly follow.

Orlando City also reportedly need to buy approximately two more acres of land on the proposed downtown site for the stadium, though it might do so through the power of eminent domain.

If those boxes are checked off and if MLS grants Orlando City the expansion franchise they have been seeking for years now, Central Florida could land one of the four expansion slots that are expected to be filled before the end of the decade. MLS commissioner Don Garber recently said that three of those four spots are already spoken for, with many believing that Orlando is a main candidate to fill one of them.

Orlando City stadium rendering inside (Woods Bagot)

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Bummed to hear that this images are not up-to-date renderings? Think Orlando City will fill one of those four expansion slots?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Expansion, USL Pro. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Orlando City clarifies confusion over leaked stadium renderings

  1. Brent says:

    This is the middle finger to Jim Rome and all those soccer haters who said soccer/MLS would not survive.

    • steve says:

      TV ratings are their new crutch.

    • RK says:

      (long pause)

      Epic.

    • Ian says:

      I forgot Jim Rome was still alive.

    • Neruda says:

      Jim Rome covers lots of sports now days (yes I tune in from time to time as I’m driving around and want to hear sports talk for a change of pace) and he still rags on soccer yet he’ll give womens MMA plenty of air time. I can take about a minute of his nauseating rants before I have to turn it off.

      • Jim says:

        I find him funny, but the fact that he doesn’t have to give lip service to soccer since he’s not an ESPN employee anymore is painfully obvious.

        Example: when the Beckham signing went down, he had Greg Vanney on to talk about it and the rest of the show was ‘SEE! I CAN BE NICE TO SOCCER.’ Same thing when he went on the air five minutes after the Algeria game ended.

        I’d love for a USMNT member to consent to an interview, should they play well in Brazil, and just tease him for 10 minutes.

        But since he more or less took the money from CBS (after feeling slighted by ESPN, reportedly), the radio show has taken a clear backseat to other things.

    • Frank says:

      all you need to see about Jim Rome link to youtube.com

  2. Yikes says:

    It looks great but with the way attendance is steadily climbing up for teams in the league and the continued expected growth in the years to come, if it is now 18k or even 20k, I surely hope they’ve planned this stadium to be easily and cheaply expanded. Also, the “Lion’s Den” and palm trees are very nice touches.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Orlando City currently pulls avg. 8053 and though that usually ramps up for MLS, I think the small size of Orlando might limit potential MLS attendance and I can’t see them being magically different than Miami or Tampa before. I think Orlando would pull low teens with the odd sellout and be in no real danger of underbuilding.

  3. Chris says:

    The inside-the-stadium rendering makes it look like a clone of Sporting Park in Kansas City.

  4. Shawn Wallace says:

    if true, yup orlando will be in the mls

  5. MetroChris says:

    AWESOME! i really hope they get the vote they need. Orlando really deserves to be in MLS

    • Travis in Miami says:

      If a penny of public money goes to a stadium project for any sport in any city or county in the state of Florida under the current political climate, I will call a super big BS (and I don’t mean big soccer). I love soccer and am nearly obsessive about it but the public’s money needs to be returned to many other places before it goes to a stadium. Involving public money would pretty much be the death nail of the team anyway – see Miami Marlins.

      Give them a team, sure…let them build their own stadium.

      • 407 says:

        I’d prefer there were no taxes involved, but there is little comparable to the Marlins. The new Marlins park was more than $630 million with taxes paying more than 81%.

        Orlando City SC will be paying 73% of the total cost to get this franchise off the ground, and the city of Orlando will own the stadium.

        Having a small portion of taxes funding the stadium will have zero impact on the club’s growth, competitiveness, appeal, etc.

        • TimbersGary says:

          Haha. Love the non-comparison. Are you in PR? I know you think it was slick to invoke the stadium cost-share versus the total franchise cost-share (expansion fee + stadium), but it wasn’t. We know OCFC would only be paying a third of the stadium cost. FWIW, I have no stake or stated preference either way, but it kills your point when you make it transparently specious.

          • 407 says:

            Nah, I don’t agree: just because the club (“OCSC” btw, not “FC”) isn’t trying to get taxpayers to pay for everything doesn’t make the specific other pieces “specious” in their context. But my reason for that is in fact that context of the new sports stadia around Florida in the past ten or so years: the Magic paid less than 10% of their half-billion-dollar arena and I mentioned the Marlins; most people down here are sick of this garbage. And as I said, I wish the club were paying the whole thing themselves.

            Btw: the stadium cost will be $80 million and the club will pay a total of $40 million, which is not one-third, but half.

  6. Phill says:

    FYI. City of Orlando vote takes place on October 7th and Orange county votes on 22nd. link to t.co

    • Ted Drews says:

      I hope we reach a point where a new “old” stadium is built, as everyone has been doing with baseball stadiums in the Majors since Camden Yards opened in 1992.

      Many of these renderings look so much a like. It would be great to see a “modern” Craven Cottage, (old) Wembley, Ibrox, etc.

      Proximity to the pitch is the most important factor, not it being a spaceship (oval or rectangular).

  7. Jacknut says:

    I hope Orlando doesn’t steal land through eminent domain. Buy it outright.

    • Ian says:

      Eminent domain isn’t theft. The landowner is compensated. It sucks, but it isn’t theft.

      • Nick says:

        While the owner is compensated, fairly or not, they are being forced to give up something that is rightfully theirs. I’m not sure if it’s technically theft, but I think it’s close enough for the sake of the argument.
        Also, I don’t know the details of the situation in Orlando, but speaking as somebody who watched the Barclays Center and surrounding development (in Brooklyn) be obtained through eminent domain for use by privately owned entities, I’m not a fan.

        • John says:

          Define “rightfully”

        • Mike Santoro says:

          They usually are compensated quite fairly and usually give the highest appraised value from the past 10 years so even if the value went down from 250k to 180k theyll be given 250k. In some cases, depending on if its resedential or commercial, they’ll even cover costs to help you purchase a comparable house.

      • Umlaut says:

        It’s purchased but usually not for what a land owner could get if he/she were to sell it through their own means. And often only portions of property are taken, leaving the remaining land sometimes with a much lower value, especially if the eminent domain land is being converted into a roadway or drainage area or something like that.

        I’m not decrying the institution, I respect that it is a necessary power of the government, but it’s undeniable that sometimes it really sucks for the people it affects.

        • Increase says:

          Roads yes, airports yes, Stadiums no.

          2 are infrastructure that everyone can use and likely will use.

          Stadiums are for sports(a definite luxury) not everyone is likely to enjoy or play sports.

          • Derek says:

            Maybe these people wont enjoy the stadium and benefit directly, but they will benefit from the stadium indirectly.

            • Jacknut says:

              Every serious economic study shows that stadia do not have a net positive effect on local economies.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t mind eminent domain for truly public goods like freeways. But sports teams’ stadia are more like private businesses, which we can’t get into most of the time except for certain days and times for the price of a ticket. The county may still technically own it but they hand it over by long term lease to a private operator that sets its own agenda and seeks to profit from the operations. I don’t think it’s cool to kick people off their own land for that purpose, particularly if all you pay is real estate value and not also some reflection of revenue stream value.

      I mean, the whole point to some of the tax reinvestment funding schemes is that property values will go up from the stadium just being there (with some of the schemes letting the increased property tax value be diverted to stadium bond repayment).

    • James ORL says:

      FWIW, the reason for the possibility of eminent domain is because the City of Orlando has reached out the two parcel owners, since earlier this year, and has yet to hear a response from them.

      • Jacknut says:

        Then Orlando City should offer more money.

        • TimbersGary says:

          yeah, sure. And since the land owner knows they need his/her parcel, I’m sure all he/she wants is FMV. The voluntary offers are always extremely generous for the exact reason of trying to avoid ED, along with its costs and bad publicity.

    • PD says:

      It was good enough for the Indians…

  8. Neruda says:

    So I’m going to go ahead and assume that Bilbo and Baggins architecture firm from Australia isn’t going to get the Orland City account if the vote goes through for them. Putting stuff like this out there can piss off potential clients. Not to mention these renderings stadium aren’t original.

  9. Bean says:

    Orlando should have weather that is similar to Houston, so they should not enclose the stadium all the way around.
    BBVA Compass Stadium is a very hot and humid place to play, and the architecture does not help. They need to design the stadium so that there is air flow from prevailing winds in the summer, and incorporate shade where they can for when somebody mistakenly schedules afternoon games.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think one of the real reasons BBVA finally got done is UH got increasingly serious about tearing down Robertson and replacing it. Robertson was worn down but the fact it was an old HS stadium that once had a track meant that the corners were not blocked in for airflow. BBVA’s shady side is nice but the sunny side is not necessarily an improvement over sitting on a bleacher at Robertson, for several months of the year. Too hot, not enough air flow.

      If you look at many Eurostadia (particularly smaller English clubs) it’s four separate stands. It’s a different modern trend that has played out in cookie cutter MLS architecture where they do the ground like a US football or basketball stadium. I’m sure we could come up with a modern riff on the four-stand stadium that would allow airflow in the warm and humid areas.

  10. fischy says:

    They’re never up-to-date renderings when you’re discussing a possible stadium that doesn’t even have an actual site and funding in place. I don’t understand why people think they might be. They’re always just some neat futuristic looking thing that could never be built.