Major League Soccer will resume its 25th season with the “MLS is Back” Tournament at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from July 8 to August 11.
Clubs will begin arriving in Orlando as early as June 24 for preseason training. Clubs that can conduct full team training in their markets pursuant to the league’s medical and testing protocols must arrive no later than seven days before their first match.
At a party on Church Street downtown, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and expansion team owners Flávio Augusto da Silva and Phil Rawlins announced last night that Orlando will join the league in 2015.
Orlando City Soccer Club will become Major League Soccer’s 21st club during the league’s 20th season.
Orlando City’s inaugural season will see the club open its own soccer stadium in downtown Orlando. Construction on the stadium will begin Spring 2014, and will be located just west of the Amway Center.
Prior to moving into the new stadium in the summer of 2015, Orlando City will play matches at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
Individuals who purchase 2014 Orlando City season tickets will have top priority for the club’s 2015 MLS season seat selection. Call (855) ORL-CITY or visit orlandocitysoccer.com for details.
Details regarding conference alignment and schedule format for future MLS seasons will be unveiled at a later date.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners met on Tuesday, October 22, and approved a plan that will provide funding for a new soccer stadium to be built in downtown Orlando.
The vote was 5-2 to approve a plan to use tourist tax dollars to help fund the stadium as part of a larger venues package, which includes the second phase of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, and renovations to the Citrus Bowl.
This clears the way to for the Orlando City Soccer Club ( aka Orlando Lions) to become a Major League Soccer team, pending negotiations between the team and the MLS.
“We are ecstatic about the positive vote,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “Our fans have been the driving force behind the effort to bring MLS to Orlando. This one is for them.”
A franchise could be awarded as early as November. The Lions would then begin play in MLS in Spring 2015. The stadium will be located at the northeast corner where Church St. and Parramore Ave intersect.
Here is a video of the vote as it happened:
On October 7, the Orlando City Council voted to approve the funding needed for a downtown soccer stadium, with a vote of 7-0.
This not only paves the way for the new stadium, but could also help score Orlando City Soccer Club a Major League Soccer franchise.
Next, it’s the county commissioners who will vote on it, and if everything passes, talks with MLS will begin. This means a deal for a franchise could be in place before the end of the year.
The vote also approves $25 million in additional tourist tax dollars to go to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, for completion of phase two of that project, and another $12 million to the Citrus Bowl renovation.