Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Orlando City Stadium Bill

On Wednesday evening, Orlando City President Phil Rawlins sent out a "call for action" to supporters and local media in Central Florida asking for help with the stadium funding effort.

$30M of the roughly $110M price tag for Orlando City's proposed downtown soccer stadium has been budgeted to come in the form of a sales tax rebate from the state. The proposal started in the Senate back in February with Senate Bill 358 which would have allowed for two Major League Soccer teams to each receive $1M in rebates per year for 30 years to be used towards building and maintaining soccer specific stadiums. Since that time the bill has had things added and taken away as professional sports franchises from across the state attempted to jockey for position for state funding support.

Currently there are two bills that would allow for the sales tax rebate that Orlando City is pushing for to support their stadium effort, House Bill 219 (HB-219) and Senate Bill 358 (SB-358). The passing of either bill would provide a $30M investment from the state into the stadium development plan. A third bill, Senate Bill 306 (SB-306) offers another route for Orlando City to receive funding for their stadium but it is paired with renovations and improvements to several other professional sports facilities across the state.

What can you do to support these bills and help bring Major League Soccer to Orlando?

1. Share this article with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, or email to get the Call for Action out there to as many people as possible.

2. Contact Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford through the information listed below and tell him to support these bills specifically by their numbers and mention Orlando City and MLS. 
Phone: 850-488-1450
Twitter: @willweatherford

3. Contact Florida Senate President Don Gaetz through the information listed below and tell him to support these bills specifically by their numbers and mention Orlando City and MLS. 
Phone: 850-487-5229
Facebook: Don Gaetz


These bills could come to the floor of the house or senate anytime over the next few days, but the current session of both offices ends in just over a week. We will keep an eye on Tallahassee and will let you know any updates on the stadium bill effort as they become available.


  1. I would assume OC has some sort of contingecy plan?
    As a business owner, you can't assume anything. Especially from the government.
    You have to ask yourself, "What if this doesn't pan out? What is Plan B?"

    Also, During the height of OC's social campaign, Speaker Weatherford tweeted this earlier today: "You can't always get what you want"#session"
    Vague, but worrysome for the club.

    Do you know if there is a Plan B or even C?

  2. #3 is especially important. In email replies to fans, Gaetz has said that he only has a vote when a bill is brought to the floor, but as Senate President he has the power to decide which bills are heard and which ones are not. Orlando City fans need to call and email President Gaetz ASAP and ask him to hear SB 306.

  3. What stage is Senate Bill 306 exactly at? That seems to be the only one moving, but I'm confused about it. Also, would people not living in Florida be able to help, because I'm sure that some of the other people in the Cauldron (Sporting KC) wouldn't mind helping flood a politician with email and such.

    1. I'd certainly think anyone would be eligible to express their opinion on the matter, and of course the reps in the Florida legislature can't reject letters or phone calls or emails from someone just because that person isn't a Florida resident. And as an Orlando resident and OCSC supporter that happens to be proudly wearing an SKC shirt today in honor of our affiliate brethren, I'd say anyone in KC who wanted to contact the Florida House or Senate in support of the stadium-related bills would have an especially valid reason for doing so, given the strategic partnership between our two clubs. I'd make sure to mention that aspect, too.

  4. You can follow the status of SB 306 here:

    As of today, "Placed on Special Order Calendar, 04/29/13".


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