Orlando City Soccer Club breaks ground on new MLS stadium

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Orlando City Soccer MLS Stadium

On a momentous night in Orlando, Orlando City Soccer club officials and other dignitaries including Mark Abbott, President of Major League Soccer, broke ground on the club’s new stadium in Orlando. The state of the art venue will be home to City beginning in the 2016 season and will be home to some 20,000 fans each game.

In true Orlando City Soccer tradition, thousands of the clubs fans, club officials and dignitaries marched down Church Street to the club’s new location in Parramore, some three blocks from Downtown Orlando.

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Major League Soccer President Mark Abbott, Orlando City Majority Owner Flávio Augusto da Silva, Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins, Orlando City players and coaches and Jones High School Band were all in attendance and addressed the attendees at the stadium site, showcasing their eagerness for the newest addition to the vibrant and expanding sports & entertainment district in Downtown Orlando.

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The ceremony kicked-off by simulating a future game day experience as a Major League Soccer (MLS) team with thousands of fans, donning purple and waving flags, participated in the City Beautiful’s first march to the new stadium’s location on Church Street.

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Orlando City’s primary color, purple, was prominent throughout the event, as a ceremonial dig took place, featuring purple shovels and 24 tons of purple sand. In addition, fans were able to participate in the groundbreaking after the formal dig, receiving a commemorative jar containing a sampling of the exclusive purple sand.

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Following the ceremony, a post groundbreaking street party took place in the heart of Downtown Orlando at Church Street Station.

 “Today marks more than a mere stadium groundbreaking, it marks the beginning of a new era for the community, our fans and our team.” said Phil Rawlins. “We are immensely proud to be a part of such a transformational project, which will bring world class soccer to the ‘Soccer Capital of the South,’ along with economic opportunity and jobs. This stadium will set the cornerstone for development in the Parramore community, and we look forward to contributing to this area’s growth well into the future.”

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Mark Abbott, President of Major League Soccer, (pictured above) commented on the signing of one of the world’s best players:  “Kaká is one of the most famous players in the world, and he’s going to be here in Orlando. That’s going bring worldwide attention to this city.”

Both mayors have been fervent supporters of MLS in Orlando, playing an instrumental role in Central Florida landing the league’s 21st team. In 2013, the City of Orlando and Orange County approved the public-private partnership.

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

“An MLS club is much more than another professional sports team calling Orlando home,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer. “It’s about drawing more international tourists, and uplifting our economy, bringing jobs and opportunity to our residents and businesses; it’s about a diverse community coming together to cheer on a hometown team; and it’s about pride and love for your community.”

“Bringing Major League Soccer to Orlando is a huge win for our entire community, and will positively impact our local economy and families, as well as international visitors,” said Mayor Theresa Jacobs. “With the exploding popularity of soccer among Central Florida’s youth and adults, and with soccer ranking as the number one international sport, this new outdoor public stadium will be treasured by soccer-loving fans from home and abroad!” 

Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking - 16Oct2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The stadium is being designed and constructed by Populous, Barton Malow, and ICON Venue Group, who are widely renowned for previous works on venues such as Wembley Stadium, 02 Arena and Yankee Stadium.

During construction of the new stadium, the Lions will play their inaugural 2015 MLS season at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, which is currently undergoing a $200 million renovation.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

For more information on Orlando City SC or to purchase 2015 MLS Season Tickets, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.  Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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