By MIKE GRAMAJO
Orlando City SC will have to wait until 2016 to begin playing in their new downtown soccer-specific stadium.
The club announced on Monday morning that they will play the entire 2015 inaugural Major League Soccer season at the renovated Florida Citrus Bowl after claiming delays in the last acquisition of land by City of Orlando officials. Despite the delay, the club did say that the $80 million in funding has been secured from Club, city and surrounding counties
“We remain hard at work alongside our partner the City of Orlando on all aspects of the project,” OCSC President Phil Rawlins said in a team-issued statement. “I am very confident saying that we remain fully on track to open our new stadium prior to the start of the 2016 MLS season and we will be announcing details for our new stadium ground breaking ceremony later this year.”
The new Citrus Bowl, which will seat roughly over 65,000 people and will cost close to $200 million, is expected to be finished by November 2014. The Citrus Bowl is located a half mile from the site of Orlando City’s soccer stadium project.
The Lions are currently evaluating potential construction teams, and have identified Populous, Barton Malow and Icon Venue Group as the leading companies to construct Orlando’s new stadium.
The news comes after New York City FC announced on Monday that they will begin playing their inaugural season at Yankee Stadium, refuting rumors of them playing elsewhere while also announcing that they will begin taking season ticket deposits.
Orlando City is currently playing their 2014 season in USL Pro, and they also announced that they will being accepting season ticket deposits for their 2015 MLS season.