Orlando City release updated stadium renderings

OrlandoCitySCStadiumRenderings2014 (OrlandoCitySC)

By MIKE GRAMAJO

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City Soccer Club fans now have a better picture of what their future home will look like.

The team unveiled new renderings for its downtown soccer-specific stadium on Tuesday afternoon. The stadium is expected to be ready for the 2016 Major League Soccer season.

“We wanted to create something where it was very exciting, that was a passionate place to come to. We wanted to create an intense atmosphere,” club president Phil Rawlins told SBI. “We have plenty of time to get this done, we don’t need it open until March of 2016.”

The $110 million stadium, which will be jointly funded with public and private money, will seat approximately 19,500 fans with room to expand to 25,000. The natural-grass stadium will also feature an open south end with a view of downtown Orlando’s skyline. The field and the lower bowl will both be below ground level.

“A bad place for away teams to come and play,” Rawlins said about what he was looking for in the designs. “And a part of that is the noise our fans make, so we built our roof line to be a flat roof line so the noise bounces off the roof and comes back down to the stadium to create a cacophony of noise.”

While Orlando City Stadium isn’t expected to open until 2016, Rawlins did say that the naming rights of the Lions’ future home is under consideration, and that there are four candidates currently in dialogue with the club.

Designing the proposed downtown stadium will be Populous, the group behind MLS stadiums such as Kansas City’s Sporting Park and BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. A groundbreaking date hasn’t been revealed, but according to an Orlando City spokesperson, the stadium will take 18 months to complete.

Other stadium features include a single-deck supporters’ section, nearly 40 luxury suites, and multiple VIP hospitality areas. An open plaza leading into the Church Street corridor will serve as a gathering area for fans.

Orlando City is expected to begin play in 2015 at a renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl, which is undergoing a $200 million renovation that should be finished by the end of this year.

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What do you think of this news? Glad to see updated renderings?

Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to Orlando City release updated stadium renderings

  1. dan says:

    new MLS stadiums are gorgeous, hopefully they expand bigger and bigger! Now I just hope the teams playing in football stadiums will get their own soon, specifically NE. Also natural grass needs to be the standard.

  2. The Imperative Voice says:

    The Citrus Bowl sure looks beautiful.

  3. M says:

    “an open south end with a view of downtown Orlando’s skyline”

    Yeah, look at it!!! It’s….nonexistent.

    • It would seem to go without saying but, since apparently, you need it spelled out. This is an artist’s rendering of the stadium that does not include the skyline. The skyline is actually there. When the stadium is built the open end will face the skyline. Its actually quite a nice view. Its obviously not a massive skyline in Orlando but it can be a pretty one.

      • MLSsnob says:

        To be fair, I was thinking the same thing. The renderings are supposed to be purely for the fans sake. Stands to reason that they would include a rendering of what the view of downtown would look like. I’d sure like to see it since I’m not too familar with downtown Orlando.

      • Sharkbait says:

        The stadium is open to the south in this rendering. The Orlando skyline is east of the stadium. Hence the nonexistent skyline.

        • J-skool says:

          Exactly, you will not be able to see the downtown skyline through an open south end. If you look closely, though, you might be able to make out Downtown Disney 20 miles off.

          The lux suites and upper tier on the east side should have a view of downtown Orlando through the back, I think.

      • M says:

        Touchy, are we? Is this YOUR rendering?

        It’s just a playful jab…cheers to Orlando. They seem to be doing everything right.

  4. I liked the earlier renderings released which had more of an enclosed arena look to it. I guess the budget knocked those plans back a bit. Really like the idea of the 360 degree end zone bar as part of the video board structure. The lion statue idea is pretty neat too!

    Looking forward to them breaking ground!

    • BornsteinSupremacy says:

      Is it me, or does it seem like a much larger lion statue would really give this thing an awesome signature element? Like the gold lion outside the MGM Grand kind of a thing …

  5. iggy says:

    Disappointed by this. The open-end makes it seem like a HS football stadium to me, as does the open area under the bleachers.

    They should have just put in a lower set of stands on that end. If the Orlando skyline cant be seen above 15 rows of seats, it probably aint worth seeing anyway.

  6. NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

    I don’t want to sound like a hater or negative but why do MLS teams building a new a stadium, can’t follow red bull arena or skc park blueprint.
    What’s so difficult?
    Look at dynamo stadium, which is a cheap stadium but looks classy and way better than this one.
    As a matter of fact, dynamo stadium just needs to cover the stadium with a real roof cover, to cover their fans from the hardcore sun.
    By the way, I had read Orlando’s city stadium would have a full roof cover and a hotel attach to the stadium and jungle alike inner design.

    • ElMetrofan says:

      The only real stadium that covers the entire (at least all around) is RB Arena. Every other SSS I’ve seen has at least one open side or one bowl.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t agree, the Euro style stadiums we are imitating usually see cooler, temperate weather. The Houston SSS is nice and all but the old HS-style stadium we used to have (Robertson, which started out as a HS stadium and became a college stadium) allowed better airflow for the sea breeze on warm summer nights. The new SSS seems to radiate heat, and lacks airflow.

      A roof would provide aesthetic completeness and nominal cover but might not stop Houston torrential rains, particularly when wind blows rain sideways. And it would also close off the stadium more from wind flow.

      I’d not be surprised if they are trying to include the stage that gets thrown into every one of these to try and sell the thing as multiuse.

      I realize it would up the cost somewhat but why hasn’t anyone included some gimmicks like Tampa’s football stadium or some MLB parks? Pirate ships, slides, trains, etc. Where the eff is the massive lion? They are imitating function-driven Euro stadia. Some of them are quite aesthetically nice, albeit in a bland, cookie cutter kind of way. But where is over the top Americana? The kitsch? Surely the two can be combined. Everything doesn’t have to be so United Sporting FC Park.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I don’t mean a cute little lion statue. I mean a stories high lion’s head breathing fire when they score. Make it so.

        • 407 says:

          The ownership have aimed for building this club and the stadium to fit the local city and community. Hard though it may be to believe—here in tourist and theme park ground zero of the universe—Orlando people don’t want the Buccaneer’s cannon-firing boat or any of the rest of that crapola. It’s for the same reason that no one across MLS would ever want NBA-style “Let’s Make Some Noise!!!’ garbage anywhere at any soccer event in this country. That’s what all club and country Supporters Groups are for. None of us ever needs some PA announcer trying to hype us up for a game. It’s the same here in Orlando as it is in Portland or SKC, for two examples of many. Function-driven, aesthetically nice parks may likely be combine-able with over-the-top Ameri-kitsch, but frankly, why even try? IMO, that’s a Franken-stadium waiting to happen. I’d much rather have what, thus far, Orlando City is about to have: a new park with very nice lines modestly similar to, for examples, Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, Wolfburg’s Volkswagen Arena, and (to a lesser degree) Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, with a bit of actual Florida architecture tossed in for good measure. (That is to say, the kind that no one knows about; the kind that has nothing to do with Miami Vice-era teal and coral-pink slapped all over every Holiday Inn from Ocala to Key West.) Of all posters, T.I.V., I expect you understand this thoroughly.

          There won’t be an MLS1.0/MLS2.0 stage end added either because the facility is already multi-use and already has other events scheduled including collegiate soccer tournaments in the first year it opens, for just one example, and that’s not even to mention MLS ASG weekend no later than about 2017.

          The lion statue was described as being three to four times normal size, so figure at least fifteen to twenty feet in height for the actual statue when the park opens. And that lion statue was described as a sort of tradition piece, mainly (“Manely”?) just for the motion part where it turns and faces the park. I find that aspect a bit too clever and it wouldn’t kill me if they didn’t have it. I just like the notion of the big lion and it put me in mind of the Lowenbrau lion out front of the Lowenbrau Haus at Oktoberfest.

          My guess is that the finished product in early 2016 will be what many are hoping for: an American, and to the lesser extent, Orlando/Floridian, expression of what a proper soccer stadium is meant to be, and deriving ideas from existing examples of precisely that, as much as a private-public partnership cal allow for.

  7. Vic says:

    I like the two tiers on both sides, it makes it look bigger than having one tier.

  8. jspech says:

    sweet design. Love it!

  9. Daniel says:

    Wow, alot of haters here. This stadium looks absolutely beautiful. The lion greeting you upon entrance is a great touch while the standing room for the supporters section (only stadium in the USA that has that) will seperate Orlando from all other teams. This will also have the best downtown presence of any soccer club in America.

  10. Jeff Carter says:

    Hopefully the supporters section would be at the roof end of the field?

    I’m no architect, but the Stadiums that have roofs (specifically above the SS), have a much better sound/echo/whatever you want to call it, over those that don’t…at least on TV. Stubhub center and RBA have roughly the same capacity, the stands appear to be pretty much the same distance from the field….but RBA sounds significantly better on TV. The difference? Roof!

    Same thing with KC and Portland.

  11. THomas says:

    This makes me wish the Fire were an expansion team next year. They’re all doing it right. Maybe they can get a rebranding like KC at some point. Because that’s what it’ll take to get me back. It’s just not working right now.

    • NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

      I always say Chicago fire needs a rebrand but I always get bombarded, with fire is a unique name, Chicago fire is fine, Chicago doesn’t need a new name and stadium, Chicago this and that.
      Honestly, fire, crew, revolution, fc Dallas, rapids, need a rebrand.
      I don’t even like the name of earthquakes and dynamo buts it’s too late.
      How about Chicago red stars, Columbus city, boston strong fc, Dfw united or Dallas united, denver gold, San Jose evolution, Houston city apollos.

  12. Cvs says:

    “The field and the lower bowl will both be below ground level.”

    Is that really a good idea? This is Florida we’re talking about.

    • solles says:

      im sure the engineers responsible for this multi million dollar development know more about this than a random guy guessing on a website.

  13. Daniel M says:

    The field being lowered will be great for sight lines for viewing the game as well as keeping the sound within the field. Also as long as the drainage system is good it will help keep the natural grass looking sharp and green all the time. To those asking, the Supporters Section is the North End that has a Roof Covering and also a Supporters Bar as well. They are also having meeting with local supporters on what else they can add to the Stadium to make it ORLANDO style such as Local Art Work, a micro brew hall, etc. This place will be awesome.

    • 407 says:

      I hope part of that includes a few local restaurants as food options on the property, if any are interested. I can think of a small handful of local institutions that’d be a great fit, although it may be impossible for contractual reasons. But how great would it be to have a Beefy King stand in the park?! Or a 4Rivers BBQ? Or a Fiddler’s Green?