Late Thursday, our sources at Orlando City Hall and the Orange County Administration building both confirmed that a tentative deal had been reached to provide $20M towards Orlando City Soccer Club's proposed downtown stadium; considered the final financial hurdle in securing the facility.
While the deal still needs to be approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), the plan calls for the City of Orlando to utilize municipal bonds to provided upfront money for the stadium and several other venue projects that have been proposed to the county. Orange County will utilize surplus Tourism Development Tax (TDT) funds over the next few decades to pay down the bonds using hotel taxes, ideally not costing local tax payers anything out of pocket when the bonds are completely paid in full.
Although the BCC provided lackluster support for the stadium plan during Tuesday's presentation, we had heard that both Mayors were working on a deal behind closed doors in hopes of lining up support prior to Friday's critical Tourism Development Council (TDC) presentation.
In all likelihood, the plan will be presented to the BCC as early as August 20th for public comments and a final vote; approval would mean Orlando City would have the final $20M necessary to complete their $85M stadium and potentially be awarded a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise before the end of the year.
While nothing is set in stone and the deal is still being ironed out, Thursday August 8th may go down as the greatest day in Orlando City Soccer Club history.