Mayor Buddy Dyer is optimistic that Orlando will land a Major League Soccer franchise, telling the Orlando Sentinel that the last step is securing funding from the county toward a soccer-specific stadium.
“We’ll add a second major league sport to our city’s offerings,” Dyer told the Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi during his radio show. “It’s the world’s most popular sport married to the world’s leading tourist destination. I can’t think of a better mix.”
Dyer said the last piece of the puzzle is funding from county officials to construct the proposed $100 million stadium.
If city and county officials can pull off the funding, it would be the second major stadium construction project in Orlando. The Citrus Bowl will also go through a two-year renovation that is projected to cost about $200 million.
MLS does not have a team in the South, and the region is considered a priority for the league’s expansion. The league once had teams in Miami/Fort Lauderdale (1998-2001) and Tampa (1996-2001).
Orlando and Miami have both been pursuing MLS teams. David Beckham has an option to own an MLS team and is considering Miami and other cities in the South.