Monday, June 24, 2013

Orange County Stadium Funding

The Orange County Tourist Development Council (TDC), the entity responsible for approving $25M in hotel tax revenue for Orlando City Soccer Club's proposed stadium plan, was scheduled to meet last Friday. However Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs' office confirmed this morning that the meeting was cancelled because a quorum could not be reached; meaning not enough attendees were present to vote on items. Sources tell us that the meeting will be rescheduled in the next few weeks which might bode very well with Orlando City's efforts.

If you remember back to the end of May, Jacobs sent a memo to club President Phil Rawlins stating her intention to "fast track" the review process of the funding request. As part of her memo she specifically mentioned the June 21st TDC meeting as being a bit "premature" for discussing the funding plan but that a "special meeting" would be called when necessary.

Our sources within Orange County are saying the meeting is being pushed back a couple of weeks to allow for Jacobs to review the fiscal and sector impact analysis developed by Visit Orlando for the stadium project. In lieu of having the regular TDC quarterly meeting on June 21st only to follow it with a "special meeting" a few weeks later the feeling is that the regular meeting could be slid out to allow all business to be handled at a single meeting.

Our report last week on the "Orlando City Timeline to MLS" mentioned that Visit Orlando "should be able to report on the Mayor's request soon" for impact analysis of the stadium. In addition, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was quoted as saying "I would anticipate that if we can get that (Orange County Funding) done in the next few weeks you could see a franchise awarded during the summer time."

And you thought the US Open Cup Quarterfinal on Wednesday was the only big news this week. We will continue to keep you posted on all of the latest Orlando City news as our team learns more.

5 comments :

  1. This should be a no-brainer for Mayor Jacobs, both from a policy and a political perspective. As public policy, using a portion of Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for a soccer stadium makes good sense. The TDT , also known as the "bed tax", is collected from tourists to be used to further promote tourism in Central Florida and to put “heads in beds”. Given the international popularity of soccer, bringing MLS to Orlando will strengthen Orlando’s global brand and broaden its appeal to international tourists, especially among Brazilian and British visitors, two significant segments of Orlando’s international tourist base. From a political perspective, this also makes good sense. The Mayor may be concerned about Tea Party criticism of the deal (even though no Orange County taxpayer money will be used) but the reality is that her biggest political threat will come from the left, not the right. Orange County Democrats have a substantial advantage in party affiliation with 43% registered voters, compared to 29% for Republicans, or in hard numbers, a difference of more than 90,000 votes. Plus, as we saw in the past two election cycles in Orange County, the influence of African-American and Hispanic voters continues to increase. A new stadium would be good for the Parramore community. This, combined with Orlando City's ongoing efforts to provide youth soccer opportunities to inner-city children, would be beneficial to Mayor Jacobs. But bringing MLS to Orlando would have an even greater impact with Hispanic voters. Soccer is especially popular in Latin American communities, as evidenced by the extremely impressive fan turnout at the recent Orlando City game vs. Fluminense. And in a +14 Democrat county, the support of Hispanic voters is critical to any Republican running countywide. So, bringing MLS to Orlando would be good politics and good policy. Let’s hope Mayor Jacobs doesn’t pass on this opportunity.

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    1. Well Bob, when "The Scoring Third" spins off a poli-soccer website, you will be getting a call.

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  2. Just build it already!! We have Champions League to worry about and need a respectable venue. All this delay and it could be well underway by now - wouldn't have to even worry about the Citrus Bowl renovations messing everything up.

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  3. You guys at "ScoringThird" are doing some nice work around the expansion effort and covering all the bases, congrats on your hard work and efforts...

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