By DAN KARELL
Orlando City Soccer Club’s new stadium will be moving west, but the club and city cleared the final hurdle ahead of construction beginning in the fall.
Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer announced at a press conference on Monday morning that the city has decided to drop its action against a church that sits on the site of Orlando City’s original stadium footprint, and will move the stadium site one block west. The city had reportedly begun to go through the process of filing for eminent domain on the property after negotiations to buy the land from the church, Faith Deliverance Temple, broke down.
The decision allows the church to keep its land while also keeping the new stadium on pace to open in time for the start of the 2016 MLS season. Construction on the new stadium is expected to begin this fall. Orlando City will spend their inaugural MLS season at the Citrus Bowl.
Faith Deliverance Temple, which sits on Pine St. in between Church St. and W. Central Blvd., had been asking the city for a minimum of $35 million for the property. The church property was the final piece before construction could begin on the site, and the delays due to the negotiations forced Orlando City to push their stadium’s opening date back to 2016.
The city originally offered $1.5 million for the property, which is reportedly twice the appraised value, but the church hardly budged. The city raised its offer to $4 million but it wasn’t close to the church’s new asking price of $15 million, leading the city to look into filing an eminent domain claim.
However, by moving the stadium site slightly west, the church keeps its property, the city and club earn some good PR, and the stadium can still be completed as planned.
In June, Orlando City released new renderings of the reported $110 million stadium, which will include a roof over each of the four stands of seats and will have a capacity of 19,500. One of the drawbacks about the location however is that fans will need to park in lots a little further from the stadium.
What do you think of this news? Glad to see Orlando decided to move the stadium site? Think that this the best decision for both parties? Excited to see construction begin this fall?
Share your thoughts below.