Orlando City Stadium
|Location||655 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32805|
|Public transit|| Church Street Station
21, 62, 319
|Owner||Orlando City SC|
|Operator||Orlando City SC|
|Broke ground||October 16, 2014|
|Construction cost||$155 million|
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|General contractor||Barton Malow|
|Orlando City SC (MLS) (2017–)
Orlando Pride (NWSL) (2017–) 
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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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, as the stadium will be built right on top of where the road currently runs.
The club played their 2015 MLS inaugural season home matches at Citrus Bowl. 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).
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.
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.
The team released artistic renderings of the stadium on December 11, 2012. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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- "Orlando City Dedicates June 18 Match to #OrlandoUnited". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
- "Orlando City SC stadium honors Pulse shooting victims". Sports Illustrated.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Orlando City Stadium.|
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