The Orlando Lions soccer team is one Orange County Commission vote away from having its own stadium suitable for Major League Soccer (MLS). The Orlando City Council approved the use of Tourist Development Tax funds for multiple venues, including $20 million towards the proposed downtown soccer stadium. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told Orlando Business Journal:
We are really a soccer community. There’s not a MLS franchise in the south east United States and we would be the first. With the stadium, the renovated Citrus Bowl and the Amway Center, we can host almost any event you can possibly think of. We are going to be the sports entertainment capital of the United States.
The Lions play in the Citrus Bowl in the USL Pro league and the new $84 million soccer-specific stadium would help them become a MLS team for 2015. The team would be a tenant, paying $30 million towards construction and an annual rental for 25 years.
Picture (courtesy of Populous): Amway Center, Orlando.