ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City Soccer began whittling away at the first of two hurdles in their quest to secure a Major League Soccer team on Monday as the Orlando City Council considers helping fund a new stadium.
Council members approved a measure to enter into an agreement with Seminole County, which recently voted to kick in $200,000 toward the new stadium near downtown Orlando.
Council members also approved a tax incentive measure regarding full time jobs that would be created by the stadium's construction.
The City of Orlando is expected to approve a measure sometime in October, according to Mayor Buddy Dyer's office, to help build a new soccer-specific stadium in the city's Parramore area, just west of downtown.
Their $20 million contribution would be contingent upon Orange County commissioners approving the same amount and Orlando City Soccer securing the MLS franchise.
MLS leaders have indicated the only thing standing in the way of Orlando securing that franchise is the stadium.
Orlando City Soccer has been playing at the Florida Citrus Bowl, which has a capacity of 70,000 spectators. The new soccer-specific stadium would seat 18,000 fans in its first phase with the possibility of expanding to 20,000 in its second phase, said Orlando City Soccer spokesman Chris Jones.
Orlando City Soccer Lions won the USL PRO Championship game against Charlotte three weeks ago at the Citrus Bowl with a record crowd of 20,000 fans.
Orlando city council is now waiting for Orange County's approval of their $20 million contribution before they vote. Both approvals would allow Orlando City Soccer to move forward with securing the MLS franchise.
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