Mayor Dyer opens up about Downtown Orlando land purchase for new MLS stadium
DOWNTOWN ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer talked about the exact location for the proposed $110 million Major League Soccer stadium.
Dyer explained where the stadium would be built, how it will be paid for and why he signed off on a multi-million dollar land purchase.
The two blocks where the stadium will be located are bordered by Central Boulevard, Church Street, Terry and Parramore avenues.
“I can tell you with certainty that is where we would like to construct the stadium,” said Dyer. “It makes sense.”
The Citrus Bowl will sit only a few blocks away, as well as the Amway Center and the downtown Performing Arts Center.
“That’s the perfect location,” said Dyer. “We have the parking already associated with the other facilities in the downtown area.”
Records show the land wasn’t cheap. It was purchased for $8.2 million, more than four times its value, according to the property appraiser’s website.
The mayor, however, said he didn’t overpay.
“It’s all within the appraisals,” said Dyer.
If built, Orlando City Soccer will pay $80 million to $100 million. Orlando is providing the land, and the county may kick in tourist development tax, which is a tough sell for at least one Orange County commissioner.
“I can’t see any reason that I will change my position,” said County Commissioner Fred Brummer. “The more I read, the more I see, the more, ‘No,’ I become.”
Dyer is hoping other commissioners, lawmakers and MLS will agree the site is worth his $8.2 million gamble.
Currently, Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and NHL teams can get funding help from the state for new stadiums.
The Florida legislature is set to decide during whether MLS also qualifies.
If Dyer’s plan works, a new MLS team and a new stadium could be awarded by December.