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Orlando City SC this evening announced that they will partner with the Lake Nona community in Orlando to build a new 23-acre soccer training facility that is expected to open in 2017.
The facility will be home to Orlando City’s first team, their USL side Orlando City B and the club’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. The teams’ current facility in Seminole County will then become the home to the National Women’s Soccer League’s Orlando Pride starting in 2017.
Construction on the Lake Nona site is expected to start immediately.
“This development in Lake Nona is another great example of the Club’s expanding footprint, and the resulting economic benefit, throughout Central Florida,” said Orlando City co-owner and president Phil Rawlins (pictured above) in a team statement. “It complements the construction of our new home in downtown Orlando, and provides our MLS and USL teams with a great training facility also featuring a host of synergistic amenities in Lake Nona. We are thankful for this partnership with Tavistock and Lake Nona, who have been longtime supporters of Orlando City and the sport of soccer, and we look forward to a successful, championship future together.”
The club is investing upward of $20 million in the new facilities and the soccer campus will include six practice fields, training and fitness centers, a players’ clubhouse, locker rooms and a rehab and injury center. The building will also include film rooms and classrooms for Orlando City players and academy players.
Orlando City also holds an option to acquire 20-plus acres directly in front of the new facilities to expand in the future. The Tavistock Group, which owns Lake Nona, will develop the privately funded campus.
“Our goal is to build one of the best clubs in the world,” Rawlins said. “Those are not marketing lines. Those goals and ambitions are what drives me every morning, every day. … This is what we’re building; this is a club that’s going places. We want to be one of the best clubs in North America and we are within touching distance of that in the next few years and we will push on from there.”
Orlando City will be the second major player to locate in what is known as the Lake Nona Sports & Performance District. The complex will be built next to the 100-plus-court national training center being built for the U.S. Tennis Association.
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