Commissioners meet to discuss MLS stadium

Citrus Bowl, arts center to be discussed

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County commissioners faced several multi-million dollar issues on Tuesday, and all of them want a piece of the county's tourism tax.

One issue would see $25 million to finish off the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.

Another would add $12 million to build luxury suites and other features as part of the already approved Citrus Bowl renovation.

And, of course, the big ticket item: $20 million that would help build a major league soccer stadium in the Parramore area near downtown Orlando.

"Why are we taking $1 billion and giving it to private companies?" asked community activist Lawanna Gelzert. "Why not invest it in the community?"

She is adding up the recently completed Amway Center, Citrus Bowl and now a new soccer stadium.

Talking to us outside a home that's been in her family for more than 50 years, she said she's all for progress, just not on the backs of residents.

"Stop jumping around to different projects," Gelzert said. "Finish the ones you promised the community years ago."

There are projects like Wells Landing housing, which the city broke ground on several years ago, but still hasn't been built.

Gelzer said she doesn't want her neighbors to be quiet about it.

"I'm personally calling my commissioner and other commissioners. I'm calling my friends and family. But I'm calling on the public to understand this is not a done deal, and do your own research.  Don't believe the hype."

Presentations were made by representatives of the soccer agreement, Dr. Philips arts center, Citrus Bowl and the tourism center later in the morning.

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