Orlando City Reveals New Stadium Design
Orlando City revealed a new design for its stadium today, announcing it would spend in excess of $155 million on a venue that would seat 25,500 fans.
“The story today is about passion and inspiration,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said, saying the club’s drive to overcome obstacles, the fans’ support, and the inspiration of stadiums around the world have all helped shape the plans for the Lions’ new stadium.
Rawlins said it will be a 12-14 month build cycle, with completion of the stadium targeted near September 2016. He said he hoped the stadium could be open for the final few months of next season and a potential playoff run if the construction team hit all its benchmarks. The Lions will continue to play at the Citrus Bowl until the new venue is completed.
He credited the passionate fans who helped Orlando City average more than 31,000 fans per game, excluding a spike of the 62,000-plus fans who attended the Lions’ MLS debut home game, for helping push team leaders to build a bigger venue.
The design went from originally seating 19,500 fans to 25,500 fans in a 425,000 square foot stadium. It will be the third-largest stadium in MLS.
The stadium will feature canopy roofs on all four sides, helping enhance the fan experience by magnifying noise and providing shelter from the blazing Orlando sun and rain. Orlando City’s new stadium will also include about 20 percent club seating, with more than half of the 31 luxury suites already sold.
The Orlando City field will be sunken eight feet below ground level to offer spectacular views. There will also be an expansive open-air fan plaza spanning 10,000 square feet.
The Lions are acquiring land adjacent to the stadium to create an area for what the club called a pre-game fan zone.
“We are thrilled with the work to date and proud to unveil the latest set of renderings for our home in downtown,” said Orlando City majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva. “This new privately financed stadium will be a state-of-the-art venue for our club and for our fans. It will also create more jobs for the community and bring significant economic impact to the City of Orlando and surrounding communities. With construction underway, we look forward to hosting the first games in the new stadium later next year.”
The rotating lion that was prominent on initial rendering is absent on the current renderings to accommodate seats, but Rawlins said he is a big fan of the lion statue and is planning to add it to another area in the stadium.
Rawlins said there will be lots of parking options around the new stadium, but the club won’t be adding a parking garage. He said he hoped the fans would continue to use public transportation as well and what he called a good amount of parking options near the stadium and fan zone areas.
He urged fans to purchase season tickets, saying the team expected to sell out every game in the new venue.
Orlando City leaders announced in May they would privately finance the new soccer stadium, passing on public funding and paying the City of Orlando back for land it purchased and remediation it did there.
The stadium, originally envisioned and pitched as a city-owned venue, will now be owned and operated privately by Orlando City.
“This is a big signal how we believe in this city, how we believe in this community, how we believe in these people, this marketplace, and these fans,” Augusto da Silva said in May.
Check out more renderings for the new Orlando City stadium below!
Source: “Orlando City reveals new design of $155 million, 25,500-seat stadium,” Orlando Sentinel