On May 29, after postponing a fantastic interview with us for unexplained reasons, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (who did meet us the next day) and the Orlando City Soccer Club announced that the soccer club is no longer going to wait for the state to figure out whether it'll provide any funding for the construction of a new soccer-specific stadium in Orlando. Instead, the city has agreed to sell the site where it planned to construct the stadium to Orlando City Soccer. Although the sale price wasn't announced, the mayor said the club would pay "fair market value" for the property (ha, ha, ha). The soccer club will privately fund the construction of the stadium, which will be larger than originally planned – the new stadium will seat 25,000 to 28,000, a leap from the 19,000 the stadium was originally supposed to hold. And there is some stormwater nonsense to work out, which the soccer club also says it'll pay for.
Even with the skepticism that comes along with an out-of-nowhere deal, at least Phil Rawlins and Flavio Augusto da Silva have the nerve to fund their own enterprise, rather than letting it sit on the city's bond-rolls. Somebody should send a note to Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, maybe, one with an invoice in it for the $500 million in public dollars used to build the Amway Center. Well done, Lions.
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