Major League Soccer in Orlando
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs announced a funding plan for the construction of a new Downtown Orlando soccer stadium. This proposal paves the way to bring Major League Soccer (MLS) to Orlando, the first MLS team in the southeast. “These venues are more than buildings and MLS is more than just a sport, these are cultural cornerstones for generations to come and an economic kick to our local businesses,” said Mayor Dyer.
On August 9, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) recommended allowing for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues to be used toward the construction of a new soccer stadium. The plan also includes additional funding for the Florida Citrus Bowl, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Visit Orlando and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
TDT funding is revenue generated by visitors staying in Orange County’s hotels. By statute, the revenue is available to fund tourist and community venues and marketing campaigns to encourage more people to visit Orlando. The hospitality industry remains the backbone of our economy and international travel is critical to ensuring the economic growth of Central Florida.
Simply put, this package will enhance tourism marketing efforts and our region’s venues so that our community can host additional events in the future, which would bring more visitors to Orlando. Many residents also enjoy the world-class amenities funded by TDT which creates a higher quality of life for all Central Florida.
To read the full plan, click here for a memo from Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
The recommended actions of the TDC will be heard before the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC). In addition, an amendment to the 2007 Community Venues Interlocal Agreement would need to be approved by both the BCC and Orlando City Council. Funding for the soccer stadium is also contingent upon the MLS granting a franchise to Orlando. MLS is expected to award a franchise later this year.