Orlando City to play first year in MLS at Citrus Bowl

City yet to secure land at proposed downtown stadium site


ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC announced Monday it will play the 2015 season -- its first as a member of Major League Soccer -- in the renovated Citrus Bowl.

According to the team's Facebook page, a downtown Orlando soccer-only stadium will not be constructed in time because of delays in the city's acquisition of land at the proposed site.

The Citrus Bowl is currently undergoing a  $200 million makeover.

"In less than one year, our community will be hosting Major League Soccer matches," said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. "We're excited to offer our fans the ability to secure seats to experience our historic first MLS season."

The team said beginning in 2016, the new downtown stadium will become the permanent home of Orlando City with its location one block west of the Amway Center, the home of the Orlando Magic.   Funding for the $80 million stadium has already been secured from the team, city of Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County and Osceola County.

"We remain hard at work alongside our partner, the city of Orlando, on all aspects of the project," said Rawlins. "I am very confident saying that we remain fully on track to open our new stadium prior to the start of the 2016 MLS season and we will be announcing details for our new stadium ground breaking ceremony later this year."

The team will play this year's matches at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World.