There is no doubt that Orlando has become the nation’s premier sports destination, and the addition of the new Orlando City Soccer Club stadium only adds to our offerings.
In the last year, our region has hosted Copa America soccer matches, Florida State-Ole Miss in the Camping World Kickoff, the Florida Classic, the ACC Football Championship, three bowl games, the NFL Pro Bowl and we opened the USTA tennis national campus.
Next month, NCAA March Madness returns to the Amway Center and in April, we’ll host WWE WrestleMania for the second time at Camping World Stadium.
I often talk about how sports are an economic engine for our community. Events bring more visitors to our region, guests to our hotels and customers to our restaurants. But venues like this stadium are permanent economic drivers. Many young professionals want to live in urban areas where they can walk to work, walk to bars and restaurants and walk to sports venues. Orlando can offer all of that.
But I think what I am most excited about this stadium is that it will provide an intimate atmosphere for our community to come together as one. When I look back at these last few months, and I think about our community uniting and the beginning of the healing process, I can’t help but think of the impact that sports have had.
When the Orlando City Soccer Club played its first home match after the Pulse tragedy, it was more than a match – it was an opportunity for our diverse community to stand together. That’s the power of sports, and I know that this stadium will only make attending matches even more special.
To the Orlando City Soccer Club and the best fans in the MLS, welcome home!
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor