Commissioner wants proof Citrus Bowl was reviewed for Orlando MLS franchise
Orlando City SC to play 2016 season in soccer-only stadium
ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orange County commissioner wants documentation the Citrus Bowl was reviewed as a possible home for the Orlando City SC, claiming commissioners were "duped" by Major League Soccer representatives.
During Tuesday morning's meeting, Commissioner Ted Edwards claimed members of the public and the Board of County Commissioners were not informed that the Citrus Bowl, which is currently being renovated, was dismissed as a potential stadium for the MLS team.
"For purposes of transparency and making an informed decision, I believe this information should have been disclosed instead of blanket statements that the Citrus Bowl could not meet the standards of MLS," Edwards wrote in a memo to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
Edwards comments come after Major League Soccer granted Atlanta a new professional soccer team, without the expectation that they build a new soccer-specific stadium.
Instead, the team's new owner plans to include a retractable roof in a football stadium under construction, carrying a total cost of $1.2 billion, most of which will be paid for by the Atlanta Falcons.
Edwards wants to know why a similar scenario for the Citrus Bowl was not brought before commissioners.
Local 6 has reached out to MLS headquarters to see how they respond to accusations from Edwards that commissioners were "duped" by their representatives.
Orlando City SC announced in April it will play the 2015 season -- its first as a member of Major League Soccer -- in the renovated Citrus Bowl, which is currently undergoing a $200 million makeover.
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 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.
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