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Orlando City Stadium

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Orlando City Stadium
Orlando City Stadium - Three Weeks Before the Open House (31964593884) (cropped).jpg
Location 655 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32805[1][2]
Coordinates 28°32′28″N 81°23′21″W / 28.5410645°N 81.389035°W / 28.5410645; -81.389035Coordinates: 28°32′28″N 81°23′21″W / 28.5410645°N 81.389035°W / 28.5410645; -81.389035[2][3]
Public transit Local Transit SunRail Church Street Station
Local Transit Lynx 21, 62, 319
Owner Orlando City SC
Operator Orlando City SC
Executive suites 31[4]
Capacity 25,500[5]
Acreage 10
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Panasonic[6]
Construction
Broke ground October 16, 2014[7][8]
Opened February 2017
Construction cost $155 million[9]
Architect Populous[10]
Project manager ICON Venue Group[11]
General contractor Barton Malow[11]
Tenants
Orlando City SC (MLS) (2017–)
Orlando Pride (NWSL) (2017–) [12]
Orlando City B (USL) (2017–)

Orlando City Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando, Florida. It is the home venue for the Orlando City SC, which entered Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion franchise in 2015, and their National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) sister club the Orlando Pride. The stadium was completed in time for Orlando City's first home game of the 2017 season on March 5th.

The stadium is located along West Church Street in the Parramore neighborhood west of Downtown Orlando.

History[edit]

In April 2013, the City of Orlando purchased downtown land for $8.2 million to be used towards the construction of a $110 million MLS soccer stadium.[13] However, in May, the Florida House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill that had passed the Senate that would have provided up to $30 million in state funds towards the stadium project. Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins responded by expressing his intent to find alternative funding and keep seeking MLS expansion.[14]

The Orlando downtown soccer stadium moved closer to securing funding on August 8, 2013, when Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reached an agreement on a deal to provide financial support for a variety of Orlando projects including the new MLS soccer stadium.[15] The last piece in stadium funding was an October 2013 vote on using an existing tourism tax to fund the final quarter of the $80 million stadium project.[16] On October 22, 2013, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 5–2 to approve the use of $20 million in tourist development tax funds to build an $84 million multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando.[17]

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on December 11, 2013, that the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Women's College Cup Championship would be held at the new stadium.[18][19]

On August 4, 2014, the team announced that the stadium location would be moved one block west, to avoid having a delay to the opening day, due to Faith Deliverance Temple fighting the city's eminent-domain claim. The new location resulted in the closure of Parramore Avenue between Church Street and Central Boulevard in February 2015,[20] as the stadium will be built right on top of where the road currently runs.[2][3]

The club played their 2015 MLS inaugural season home matches at Citrus Bowl.[21] On January 13, 2016, club president Phil Rawlins announced that construction of the team's stadium was taking four months longer than expected and that the team would play all of the 2016 season at the Citrus Bowl (since renamed Camping World Stadium).[22]

Financing[edit]

Orlando City SC's owners announced on May 29, 2015, that the stadium would be privately funded by Orlando City SC and not the city. They also announced they would upgrade the stadium's capacity from 19,000 seats, to somewhere between 25,000 and 28,000 seats. The new plan was unveiled on July 31, increasing capacity to 25,500 by adding seats to the south end to maximize seats without major design changes that would set back the project by an additional year. Costs also rose from $110 million to $155 million.[23]

As part of the private funding venture for the new stadium, at least $15 million has come from 30 foreign investors in countries such as Brazil and China via the EB-5 investment scheme, which grants American visas in exchange for a $500,000 investment in the project.[24]

Design[edit]

The team released artistic renderings of the stadium on December 11, 2012.[25] On September 30, 2013, the architectural firm Woods Bagot released their drawings of the stadium on their website. The team announced that these drawings were released without their knowledge or input, and that they had not selected an architect yet. Woods Bagot proceed to remove the images from their website.[26] The design phase began on January 7, 2014, when Mayor Buddy Dyer and some of the Orlando City SC staff traveled to Kansas City to begin working with the design firm Populous.[10]

The original renderings of the stadium proposed 18,000 seats, including 2,500 club seats. It would also have 300 seats in specialty suites. The stadium’s square footage will be about 290,000 square feet, with 120,000 square feet devoted to the bowl. It is also supposedly going to have bars, retail shops, and restaurants.[27]

Additional renderings and information about the stadium were released on June 10, 2014,. The stadium will have an open plaza, where those passing by can see inside, since the field will be 10 feet below street level.[5] It will have a seating capacity of 19,500, with the structural ability to expand to 25,000 in the future. The field will be grass, with canopies over fans to protect them from the elements and to increase noise levels. A four times life size lion sculpture will overlook the entrance.[5] Just before a game begins, the lion will rotate 180° to "watch" the action. A festival plaza lined with palm trees on the south end of the plaza, just outside the main entrance at Church Street and Terry Avenue is planned (the streets will be closed to vehicles during events). A balcony-style bar just below the video scoreboard with a 360° view is planned as well. A seating section on the north end will be dedicated to members of supporters' clubs. As proposed — and if building codes allow — it will have no seats, but rails and extra room for "safe standing". The supporters' section would also have its own "pub-style" area.[4][28]

Heineken announced a partnership with multiple MLS teams on November 12, 2014, including Orlando City SC, making Heineken the official beer of the team as well as giving Heineken naming rights to the ground level bar on the south side of the stadium. In addition to the announcement, a new rendering of the south side from inside the stadium was released.[29]

Panasonic was announced as the team's "Official Technology Partner" on December 17, 2014, in exchange for Panasonic providing on-field and fascia LED boards, the main scoreboard on the south end of the field, and dozens of flat panel television screens throughout the stadium in suites, offices and work areas. In addition, Panasonic will provide technology solutions such as security cameras, control room and other key components for the new stadium.[6]

The stadium will include 49 rainbow-colored seats in Section 12 as a memorial that honors the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.[30][31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wiebe, Andrew (November 20, 2013). "Orlando City President Expects New Stadium to Have "Most Intense Atmosphere in the Whole of MLS"". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Orlando City Soccer announces new stadium location". MyFoxOrlando.com. WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO. Retrieved August 26, 2014. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Wiebe, Andrew. "Orlando City SC shift soccer-specific stadium site one block west as city drops eminent-domain claim". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Orlando City Launches Public On-Sale for 2016 Season Tickets; Provides Update on Downtown Stadium". July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "New Stadium". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved May 29, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Orlando City SC Forms Multi-year Partnership with Panasonic". OrlandoCitySC.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking Set For October 16". orlandocitysoccer.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Your City Your Stadium: Update on Proposed Stadium Opening". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Tenorio, Paul (July 31, 2015). "Orlando City reveals new design of $155 million, 25,500-seat stadium". Orlando Sentinel Orlando. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Schlueb, Mark (January 7, 2014). "Architects, Dyer and Lions to Brainstorm Ideas for MLS Stadium Design". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2014-01-07. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Populous, Barton Malow and ICON Venue Group Announced as Core Members for New Downtown Stadium Project". Orlando City SC. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Orlando City to Launch the Orlando Pride NWSL Team; Announce Head Coach". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Dyer Opens Up About Land Purchase for New MLS Stadium". WFTV. Orlando. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Orlando City Determined to Join MLS Despite Legislation Impasse in Florida House". Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors Line Up Behind Orlando Stadium Deal". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ Straus, Brian (September 13, 2013). "MLS Expansion Team Likely Heading Atlanta's Way". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Schlueb, Mark; Damron, David (October 22, 2013). "'We Are Going MLS!' Pro Soccer Stadium Is Coming to Orlando". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "2014–18 NCAA Championship Sites". NCAA.com. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Women's College Cup returning to Cary, North Carolina in 2016". NCAA.com. 
  20. ^ Hudak, Stephen (February 9, 2015). "Part of Parramore Avenue to close for soccer stadium". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Orlando City SC Launches Season Ticket Deposit Campaign for Inaugural MLS Season". Orlando City SC. May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Orlando City delays debut of new downtown stadium until 2017". Orlando Sentinel. January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  23. ^ Tenorio, Paul (July 31, 2015). "Orlando City unveils plans for new $155 million, 25,500-seat soccer stadium". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ Belson, Ken (May 16, 2016). "Price for a Green Card: $500,000 Stadium Stake". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  25. ^ Bilbao, Richard (December 12, 2012). "Orlando City Soccer Talks More About Future Stadium". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  26. ^ Savino, Christopher (September 30, 2013). "UPDATE: Woods Bagot Releases Renderings of Proposed Orlando City SC Stadium". Business of Soccer. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Details Released on New Orlando Soccer Stadium". WFTV. Orlando. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Orlando City SC release renderings of new downtown stadium to be completed in 2016". Major League Soccer. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Orlando City SC Joins Heineken Roster". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Orlando City Dedicates June 18 Match to #OrlandoUnited". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved May 14, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Orlando City SC stadium honors Pulse shooting victims". Sports Illustrated. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Camping World Stadium
Home of Orlando City Soccer Club
2017–future
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
Camping World Stadium
Home of Orlando Pride
2017–future
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
WakeMed Soccer Park
Host of the Women's College Cup
2017
Succeeded by
TBA