Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Orlando can’t afford a new stadium for Soccer

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This isn’t an easy post to write, but it presents a hard truth the area is going to have to realize in the near future.

MLS Soccer can’t work in Orlando. Orlando can’t afford MLS Soccer. I’m not opposed to the idea, I love the game but, know it’s not going to work.

Right now the Orlando City Lions are launching a well executed media blitz, to all of the news organizations in the area promoting the dream of MLS Soccer in the City Beautiful.

The cost? A cool 96.5 million. For now…

We can’t afford that. we’re still in a recession. We had to pick up the bill on the Amway center and we can’t even fill that beautiful venue with Dwight Howard. Not to mention the drop in ticket sales the Magic will experience now that Superman has flown away. You can give away tickets to an Orlando Predators game and you still have a hard time filling the seats. And that’s football, arena football granted, but the hunger isn’t there for anything that’s not a prime American sport such as NBA basketball, major league baseball, or College/NFL Football.

The capacity of the Amway Center? 20,000. The same as the proposed new Soccer stadium we’re expected to pay for.

Then there are the other projects this city has to finish. We’ve got the performing arts center that seems no closer to completion than it did 6 months ago. We’ve got the renovations to the Citrus Bowl that had the city scrambling for funding, and then there is the non-athletic Sunrail commuter train.

We’re having a hard time cleaning our plates. Now is not the time for seconds.

Then there is the price tag. 96.5 million won’t stay 96.5 million. The costs will grow and while there is talk of a public-private partnership to raise the money, companies feel the same way we do and it’s going to be hard to get them to open up the checkbook. That means we’re stuck paying for what they can’t come up with.

And we don’t even know where we’re going to put a new stadium. The first thought is near I-Drive where, the Yankees minor league club was considering setting up shop a couple of years back. A prime MLS match-up featuring international footballers, could draw in tourists already vacationing in the area. But, that’s a stretch.

What about hosting other events? If this thing gets built we can’t let it sit empty, it would have to accommodate other revenue generating activites.

It’s unfortunate we can’t afford it. The “beautiful game” is a special one. A game I’ve played on 3 continents around the world, and the enthusiasm is unmatched.

It won’t work in Orlando, and the only thing worse than not building the stadium and standing up a team, is watching that team fail and having a 100 million dollar reminder left of what a bad decision it was.

Orlando residents can’t be expected to pay for another stadium for Soccer

  1. […] a Soccer Stadium in Orlando is a generally bad idea. We can’t afford […]

  2. […] La construccion para un Estadio nuevo para Futbol aqui en Orlando es un concepto malo. […]

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