By FRANCO PANIZO
Orlando City’s dream of playing in MLS is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Central Florida’s top two mayors have agreed to a deal that could see Orlando City get the final $20 million they need in order to build a soccer-specific stadium, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. The deal was agreed to on Thursday by mayors Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs and is part of a larger package of upgrades for the city of Orlando.
“We’re supportive of this approach,” Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer’s spokeswoman Heather Fagan told the Orlando Sentinel. “We think this is a win-win-win for all the partners involved.”
City and county staff now have to work out details of the plan during the next several weeks before bringing it to both sets of county commissioners for review, public hearings and final votes. However, the soccer stadium will only be constructed if Orlando City is awarded an MLS expansion franchise.
While the deal does not guarantee that Orlando City will be able to build the downtown stadium it has been pursuing for months, much less join MLS, Dyer and Jacobs reaching an agreement is another sign of progress for the USL PRO club that has been adamant about joining North America’s top flight during the past two years.
Recently, Orlando City made an expansion pitch to the MLS Board of Governors during MLS All-Star Week in Kansas City.
The club has publicly stated that it would like to start playing in MLS in 2015, the same year that New York City FC will begin playing.
What do you make of this development? Think Orlando City to MLS is all but done now? Do you see Orlando having any chance at joining MLS in 2015?
Share your thoughts below.