By MIKE GRAMAJO
The dream of Major League Soccer coming to Orlando is now in the hands of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, MLS President Mark Abbott, who is in Orlando ahead of Tuesday’s crucial county vote, said that the league will move “very quickly” if the county votes in favor for a downtown soccer stadium.
“We’d like Orlando to be the next expansion team,” Abbott told the Sentinel. “We have in place a number of the factors that we think are needed to be successful, a strong leadership group and a strong fan base, but in order for a team to come here we need as stadium. So I’m here to express that enthusiasm to the commissioners.”
With only five out of seven votes needed to grant Orlando City the Tourist Development Tax (TDT), which will secure the last part of funding for a a soccer-specific-stadium, Orlando City looks likely to be announced as the 21st MLS expansion team in the coming weeks.
Recently, the Lions have pushed a wave of social media campaigns urging residents in the Central Florida area to lobby and call county leaders to vote in favor a stadium located in Downtown Orlando. Meanwhile, Orlando City has partnered with U.S. Soccer to bring the United States Women’s National Team to play their final game in 2013 on November 10 when they host the Brazilian women’s team at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins mentioned last week during a U.S. Soccer press conference if everything falls ideally in place, within a matter of weeks they hope to be announced as an MLS expansion team.
Earlier this month City of Orlando commissioners vote unanimously in favor for leaving the last part of the TDT in the hands of Orange County leaders.
What do you think of this development? Do you see Orange County leaders voting in favor for a soccer stadium? Do you believe MLS should expand to Orlando?
Share your thoughts below.