Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Orlando City Stadium Phased Construction

On Sunday Evening, WESH Sports reported a rumor we have heard for several weeks, that Orlando City Soccer Club is planning a phased construction approach to their proposed downtown stadium. 

However, our sources have confirmed that even with the phased plan for construction, the stadium that is tentatively scheduled to open in 2015 will still likely be the originally planned version.

The initial stadium plan had a total cost of $105M-$110M but the inability to secure $30M in state funding caused the team to reorganize their funding approach. The latest numbers have the Phase 1 stadium priced between $70M-$80M which include land and infrastructure costs. Phase 2 would see a small increase in capacity, additional suites, and canopies over some previously exposed seats at a cost of $25M-$30M. 

Phase 1 would meet the minimum requirements from Major League Soccer (MLS) for a soccer-specific stadium, falling in-line cost wise with the San Jose Earthquakes new stadium currently under construction. The catch is that the Florida House and Senate will meet again next March and could potentially approve the sales tax rebate requested by Orlando City by next spring. That bill would then become law in June or July meaning that funds for Phase 2 could be available just over a year from now. Even with stadium construction underway, the additional elements included in Phase 2 could still be incorporated into the project.

If an MLS expansion franchise is awarded to Orlando City before the end of 2013, stadium construction could begin as early as January 2014 with completion likely being during the summer of 2015. The club would either have an extended road trip or play their first few home matches at the Citrus Bowl to open their first season in MLS.

8 comments :

  1. As long as the supporters section is AT LEAST 3,000 I don't care, Our SS should be NO LOWER than 3,000

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  2. If you had to take a guess which stadium will OCSC stadium most resemble, from a design aspect? BBVA, SJ, Jeld Wen (i know the dimensions will be like Jeld Wen), or some other stadium?

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    1. Let's go with what we know for sure. The stadium will be U-Shaped with canopies over those stands so San Jose's new facility is the closest match to that plan. While the original plan called for multiple levels of seating, I am beginning to think we may see an upper and lower bowl as opposed to terrace and balacony. The upper and lower bowl would be similar to the layout in Houston with a 10 row lower bowl and 20 row upper bowl, but probably 15 rows in Orlando. The open end of the stadium is up for debate based on the phased plan as well. Originally the team was calling for a "tower" that would house the supporter's section, suites, team offices, pro shop and bar. Now I am not sure if that element will still be included or will be moved to Phase 2. The bottom line is that Woods Bagot is known for making unique stadiums, even with the new plan I still think Orlando's stadium will be unlike other stadiums in the league.

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    2. So there is going 2 be a huge hole? Will they fill it in Phase 2?

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    3. They have traveled many times to SKC's complex and have said it will look very similar.

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    4. Be careful to read the fine print on comparing Orlando City's new stadium to Sporting KC's. Team representatives have always said it would have a similar "feel" not look to SKC's. That "feel" means a fully covered bowl and certain technology upgrades similar to SKC. To assume you are going to get SKC's $200M facility in Orlando for $100M is a bit of a stretch.

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  3. So, given the tentative budget plan, league schedule, & construction start-time thus far... Is it possible that Phase 1/Lower Bowl could be completed prior to the end of the 2014 USL PRO season? I'm asking because I still wonder where OCSC will play for 2014 due to Citrus Bowl renovations.

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    1. Regarding the construction timeline, there is a 0% chance the team could use the new facility for 2014. According to WESH Sports last night, the team is now focused on playing 2014 at a temporary 5,000 seat facility at the Seminole Soccer Complex. I'm not sure how they will make that work with restrooms, parking, concessions, etc, but that's the latest.

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