Orlando City Soccer stresses urgency as Mayor Jacobs ‘Fast Tracks’ for downtown soccer stadium

Orlando City President Phil Rawlins met with Orange County and Visit Orlando representatives Monday afternoon, further discussing the club’s goal toward becoming a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise. Rawlins spoke about the meeting, saying positive steps were taken as the club continues its goal of bringing a MLS franchise to Central Florida by 2015.

“It was a very positive meeting,” said Rawlins. “It is clear that we are gaining further momentum and support for the project. Everyone is seeing that there is a deadline here, which we have to continue working towards.”

The meeting came just days after Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs sent a message to Rawlins saying she is “fast-tracking” the project.

“We are very sensitive to the [Major League Soccer] ownership position, and the new sense of urgency attached to your negotiations,” Jacobs wrote. “Rest assured that I have directed Orange County’s staff to complete their due diligence as quickly as possible.” (Full letter below)

Alongside the increased enthusiasm about a MLS franchise in Orlando, rumors have also begun to spread about David Beckham and his interest in Miami. Rawlins has been adamant about remaining ahead of the competition, saying that the time is now to attract MLS to Central Florida.

“We got a head start and have had an advantage, but that advantage can quickly erode if other cities start getting their act together,” Rawlins said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “You’re seeing indications of that now.”

On Monday morning the team asked fans to join their local MLS campaign and contact their local Orange County and City of Orlando government officials, to support the team in finding a private/public funding solution for a downtown stadium. Fans can find out how to contact their Orange County Commissioners by clicking here and City Commissioners by clicking here.

Fans are urged to let their commissioners know that they are behind the effort by saying [along the lines of] "I am in support of bringing MLS to Central Florida, which will bring tremendous economic impact, jobs, tourism and quality of life to the region. Please help us in bringing Major League Soccer to this community."

Letter from Orange County Teresa Jacobs to President Phil Rawlins

RAWLINS letter.jpg

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Teams GP Pts
Orlando City SC 28 62
Sacramento Republic FC 28 55
LA Galaxy II 28 51
Richmond Kickers 28 51
Charleston Battery 28 41