Orlando City Council approves soccer stadium construction deal

Orlando City stadium rendering inside (Woods Bagot)

By DAN KARELL

Orlando City Soccer Club took one step closer on Monday evening to having a soccer-specific stadium to call home.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council approved a construction agreement that lays out plans for the estimated $84 million soccer stadium that Orlando City SC will eventually move into. According to the reports in Orlando, the city will own the stadium but Orlando City SC will operate and develop it.

The construction agreement also forces Orlando City to pay for any cost overruns.

One aspect of note is that the agreement has the stadium completion date on Feb. 1, 2016, and not in the middle of the 2015 Major League Soccer season as Orlando City SC’s owners were planning for previously.

The 290,000 square foot stadium is expected to seat 18,000 people, including 2,500 club seats. People with club seats will have access to a 4,000 square foot buffet and bar, and the entire stadium will have access to a 4,000 square foot team store.

Though the field will be open to the elements, a roof will cover fans on the east and west sides of the stadium, along the sidelines.

The Orlando Sentinel suggests that the reason for the later completion date is due to a couple factors that have held up construction. One issue is that a church that owns property on land that Orlando City SC wants to use for the stadium has played tough in negotiations, asking for much more than the $1.5 million that the City of Orlando is offering.

Secondly, Orlando City SC is still trying to receive a reported $30 million in state tax breaks to fund additional improvements. If they receives the tax breaks, they could extend the roof to cover the north side of the stadium, where the Orlando City supporters are expected to stand.

The team also expects to be able to add 1,000 more seats and expand the club level in the stadium.

Populous, formerly HOK Sport, will design the stadium. Populous has designed stadiums in numerous sports around the world, and designed MLS venues Sporting Park, BBVA Compass Stadium, Dicks Sporting Goods Park, and Gillette Stadium.

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What do you think of this news? Do you expect Orlando City to receive more tax breaks? Do you see Orlando City starting in MLS in the Citrus Bowl?

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Orlando City Council approves soccer stadium construction deal

  1. Wispy says:

    How do they plan to determine whether someone is a $18,000 person and can sit there? I don;t think I’m worth that much.

  2. dudebro says:

    I’ve heard rumors of a “safe-standing” terrace for supporters.
    Anybody confirm this?

    • Adam says:

      That was brought up in a Q&A with the mayor after the vote and he confirmed that they would like to build the north end of the stadium especially for supporters groups complete with standing rails and more space to stand in front of seats. All that should be confirmed when the stadium designs are released in May

  3. Yournamehere says:

    Just read at goal.com that Beckham wants to scrap the salary cap. Can we say Garbers successor.

    • Horsewhistle says:

      Good bye mid-market teams.

    • Joe+G says:

      Still talking like a player, I see.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Yournamehere

      There is no way your IQ is that low. So the owners are going to vote in a commissioner that will make them less money ? No way in heck that happens. Pro-Rel will happen before that.

  4. hartley says:

    Wow, that picture looks a lot like Sporting Park with an upper deck on the East side.

    • Horsewhistle says:

      There was some discussion on the Orlando Stadium post last week. Is this image the Phase I buildout? the expansion phase would only add 1000 more? Looks like they are already expecting to be Miami’s little brother.

      HOK Sport/Populous know their stuff but not particularly sold on this design. Seems like vanilla. Otherwise I think it is promising for a public-private partnership to be building a soccer specific stadium.

      • Drew11 says:

        Is that an old photo? I don’t think OC has the funding for a full roof in place yet.

    • beto says:

      It does look like Sporting Park, and the score board reads Orlando City 2 Kansas City 0

    • mouf says:

      Same designers and OCSC’s FO has been at SP a couple times in regard.

      I will say you aren’t going to get a larger Sporting Park or really anything but a really stripped down version for $84 million. Sporting Park was $200 million, and adjusted to 2014 inflation, $210 million.

    • Tate Steinlage says:

      That’s because it is Sporting KC’s roof photoshopped in (see link below to original picture); though the north end is adjusted a bit because of Sporting KC’s owner’s box. Orlando City SC used it for their renderings. Like people have stated, this is the same group that made Sporting Park, so you can expect some similarities.

      link to cdn.archinect.net

  5. A.S. says:

    Plain old soccer stadium without any view? Boo!! To keep up with the Joneses, or Beckhams, you need to have a view of the Magic Kingdom, or at the very least Epcot.

  6. +bottlcaps says:

    As a former city planner who worked on many a eminent domain lawsuits, the Church has every right to demand more. Often in ED lawsuits a “fair market” price for a piece of commercial property will often include a “goodwill” factor, which is a intrinsic value added as a result of the stores reputation and it’s ability to add or lose past and future customers at a new location. In residential, and in the case of churches, where there is no “economic” goodwill to establish, the properties are often undervalued substantially.There are ways to factor in goodwill for these properties and let’s hope both sides can come to a mutually agreeable accommodation.

    It’s bad mojo to undertake a new venture when there is a bad taste in the mouth over a disagreement that can be avoided.

    • Drew11 says:

      The church has little goodwill. They asked for some outrageous ED payoff. Everybody else settled without the drama. ED isn’t really a big deal in the community, sorry.

      • Bruce says:

        How much did they ask for?

        • 407 says:

          Original valuation was $750,000. City of Orlando offered just more then $1 million.

          The church’s counter-offer was $35 million.

          I say, thirty-five million.

          Last I heard, the city had upped their offer to $1.5 million and apparently the ink is just about dry on the copy of the ED paperwork the city has in its back pocket.

    • Mike C says:

      As a current city planner, I’m disappointed to see municipalities continue to foot the bill for stadiums on the behalf of billionaire team owners. The teams come in promising the stadiums will will spin off all sorts of economic development (which does not pan out), the city issues debt to fund the construction, and residents are left holding the bag. This article nicely sums up the mess that Bridgeview, IL (Fire’s Toyota Park) and Commerce City, CO (Rapids’ Dick’s Sporting Goods Park) are in right now: link to bloomberg.com

      These issues make the traditional press like Bloomberg, but Ives, it would be nice to see more soccer writers like you take a critical look at it.

  7. KingGoogleyEye says:

    “agreement that lays out plans for the estimated $84 million soccer stadium…. The construction agreement also forces Orlando City to pay for any cost overruns.”

    Just to clarify: that’s Orlando City SC that will pay for overruns. (A bit confusing when we’re talking about Orlando City Council and Orlando City SC.)

  8. NASL to El Paso tx says:

    Just no more galaxy stadiums :)
    And more red bull and skc love

  9. JMart says:

    As an architect with a substantial amount of large project public work experience there is now way that $84M will get Orlando that stadium.

    • JMart says:

      ‘No way’ is what I meant.

      • 407 says:

        The photo in this post is an older illustration that at the time was basically Spork’s park with a purple color scheme. It’s not representative of OC’s eventual stadium. Word is, the renderings should be along by the second week of May, after that tax rebate thing in Tallahassee has gotten a final yay or nay, and the club can proceed with shovels in ground knowing whether they’re doing the $84 million version or a $114 million version.

        • mouf says:

          “sporks park” was over $200 million, the actual renderings will be nothing close to it

          • 407 says:

            Which is why the illustration above is both old and nothing more than a purplized version of Sporks home, never meant as a rendering of what OC’s stadium will look like.

  10. go euro or go home says:

    Can we just start calling them soccer stadiums now instead of soccer specific stadiums? We’ve come that far, right?

  11. PDXHORNMAN says:

    I think 18,000 capacity is too small. I think that Orlando City ownership, supporters, etc are going to be hating life over that decision. I’m thinking it’s going to succeed at a level they have not imagined it could reach. Portland, Seattle, Sportkng KC,Vancouver and Real Salt Lake have shown that amazing success can and does happen. If they sell out the 18,000seats and have a substantial season ticket waiting list the ownership is going to be rueing the day they decided on the 18,000 seat capacity.
    Portland is looking back with regret that the original providence Park refurbishmant capacity was only 18,500. Twice in the last three years they have upped the capacity by a total of 3,000 seats (approx) to get to the current 21,500. Portland could easily get 25-26,000 a match (and still have a season ticket waiting list) but unless some MAJOR MAJOR stadium reconstruction/expansion is approved (highly unlikely) , they’re stuck at the 21,500,