At the Orlando City Council meeting today the City Commissioners unanimously approved a plan to provide funding for a new soccer stadium in Downtown Orlando and provide additional funding for the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.
The $94.5 million plan allows for Tourism Development Tax revenues to be spent on various venues and tourism marketing including $20 million to help fund the soccer stadium and $25 million towards the second phase of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.
The stadium will be located north of Church St, south of Central Blvd., east of Parramore Ave., and west of Terry Ave. [GMap].
The funding for the second phase of DPAC would be available once the remaining donations for the second phase are pledged and secured.
Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Robert Hill spoke to the City Council about how DPAC was the main reason he left New York City to come to work for the Orlando Ballet.
“All great cities have great performing arts centers, opera houses, sports clubs, sports teams, it’s all a part of how we live and why we want to continue to grow,” he said.
Orlando City Soccer President Phil Rawlins made it very clear to the City Council that an approval of the deal allows the team to enter final negations with MLS to award Orlando an expansion team.
“This is a critical last step if we don’t get this step in place then we can’t bring a major league soccer team to Orlando,” he said.
The Tourism Development Council approved the plan on August 9. The final step for approval with be a vote by the Orange County Commissioners on October 22.
In addition to $20 million to fund the soccer stadium and the $25 million towards DPAC, the $94.5 million plan includes:
- $25 million to Visit Orlando over five-years
- $12 million to the Citrus Bowl for renovations
- $10 million in convention-center improvements
- $2.5 million Central Florida Sports Commission via Visit Orlando for marketing sports events