Thursday, September 13, 2012

Phil & Buddy's Excellent Adventure

Phil & Buddy's Excellent Adventure
Orlando City President Phil Rawlins and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, along with their staffs, are on their last day of their big Kansas City trip. The group is in town to visit several facilities to capture ideas not just for the team's proposed soccer stadium but also in support of the city's planned renovations to the Citrus Bowl.

On Thursday the team toured Arrowhead Stadium, home to the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, which underwent a $375M renovation back in 2007 that took the stadium from it's mostly original 1960's design into a state-of-the-art facility in-line with other NFL stadiums. While Orlando isn't home to a professional football team, like Kansas City, renovations to the Citrus Bowl will likely be around $150M and when completed should provide a stadium capable of drawing college football bowl games for decades to follow. 

Today, the group will be spending the majority of their time touring Livestrong Sporting Park, home to Sporting KC of Major League Soccer. The $200M stadium opened in 2011 is considered the current "crown jewel" of the soccer specific stadiums in the league offering the latest in design in a truly one-of-a-kind tilted bowl design. From talking to officials, the team is looking at specific design elements of the stadium and not at bringing a $200M stadium to Orlando. Instead the team is planning for a 20,000 seat stadium more in line with Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium which also opened last year at a cost of just $95M. 

In addition to the stadium tours, we believe that the team may also be paying a visit to stadium architect firm, Populous, whose headquarter is also located in Kansas City. While we have been told that the stadium plans are in development and that several design firms have addressed interest in the project, it makes sense for Populous to get the nod. They designed Livestrong Sporting Park and BBVA Compass Stadium, so who would be better to roll the best parts of both facilities into a cost-effective Orlando design.

When "Phil and Buddy's Excellent Adventure" in the Midwest wraps up, it will be the fifth MLS stadium tour that team officials have taken. It was revealed earlier this week in posting by the team on news station WFTV's site that officials with Orlando City had already visited stadiums in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver earlier in the season.

The next step in the stadium process will be the public release of the Economic Impact Study for the facility which is expected to come out sometime next week. When we see it we will share all the details with you!


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