ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando City Soccer Club wants a new stadium, and it would like the help of taxpayers in Orange County and the City of Orlando.
Phil Rawlins, one of the owners of the club, says a state-of-the-art stadium could cost about $90-million. The team would like the project to be funded as part of a public-private partnership.
Rawlins says the stadium is a precursor to the Lions becoming a Major League Soccer franchise. Both the stadium and brining an MLS team to Orlando would be an economic boon, says Rawlins.
So far city leaders in both Orlando and Orange County seem to be supporting the effort to build a new stadium. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer visited the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, a new soccer-specific venue to see what Rawlins and the soccer club are proposing.
Teresa Jacobs, Orange County mayor, also has a trip planned to a similar stadium in Philadelphia, which hosts the city's MLS team.
Although there is initial support, neither the city or county has decided whether or not to fund the project or how much they'd be willing to pay.
"It's very early in the process to get specific about funding sources or a location, but we're working with [Orlando City Soccer Club] to get that determined at a later date," said Allen Johnson, Orlando's director of venues.
Some worry there are others issues more pressing than building a soccer stadium
"That's a lot of money. I can think of a lot of things that can be done better for society than that," said Gerald Brown.
The Orlando City Soccer Club will release the results of a study on the economic impact of a new stadium and having an MLS franchise next week.
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