Orlando Stadium Ideas

Discussion in 'Orlando' started by Orlando Rays, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays Copy editing is now my hobby.

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    1) Renovated Citrus Bowl

    Renovations for the Citrus Bowl were programmed into the "Triple Crown for Downtown" package in 2007, which reserved $1.1 billion in TDT tax funds between the Amway Center, the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center, and a renovation for the Citrus Bowl. The Citrus Bowl was originally reserved $250 million of that, but it was delayed because of soft tourism during the recession, and they eventually cut $75 million out of the plan. They were able to pull $10 million in 2010 for additional bathrooms and the AstroTurf pitch. The latest I've heard is a starting date in 2014.

    There's already a plan ready for the full renovation, which includes tearing down and replacing the lower bowl, elements of which will be pushing 80 years old when they get around to it. Although the new lower bowl will be nicer, it will force Orlando City to move elsewhere in the year they currently want to join MLS.

    I did find something interesting recently. The renovation plan calls for a capacity of 70,000. However, an article by George Diaz of the Sentinel last year suggests the new bowl will eliminate 10,000 seats. There are no plans to add to the upper deck. Unless that's balanced out by "completing the bowl" (adding seats in the nominally-void north end zone), this is an intriguing discrepancy.

    2) SSS

    There have been locations in the past for an SSS. One idea from the Ajax Orlando era was a small venue downtown at the lot across from the Courthouse. This location has recently been purchased for other purposes.

    Some of us have coveted the Amway Arena site, which is reserved for the Creative Village. We also recently delimited a lot next to the Geico Garage, adjacent to the new Amway Center and next to where RDV is going to build their new HQ.

    Beyond that, location is a challenge. Realistic possibilities include areas near the Convention Center, the intersection of the Greeneway and International Drive, and the old Agere plant near John Young and the Beachline.

    There's also some who have suggested ESPN Wide World of Sports. Nevermind the fact that Disney does not want to host a permanent pro sports team anymore.


  2. fischy

    fischy Member

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    HOw do you know Disney doesn't want to be involved? Yeah, they got out of other sports. It's possible they may view soccer very differently. I would say that the NBC deal w/ MLS makes that less likely, but maybe Disney would use a team to make a big splash for a new deal down the road. Hard to justify now for the 20th team, but maybe a 21st team, as the NBC deal expires?
  3. Prime Time

    Prime Time Member

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    It needs to be a SSS, imo. Get that done and you're in. The sooner the better.

    Garber said last night he wants 20 to be in NY but said that it could be years down the road before that happens. After that they have said previously they plan to wait (which would be a long time).

    Orlando needs to get a stadium deal in place this year and beat NY2 to the punch if they want in.
  4. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    What about Bright House Networks stadium. it's much newer and seats less than the Citrus bowl so it wouldn't feel as cavernous. there is also a plan to renovate it by adding more Luxury boxes and club seats and 10,000 seats to raise the capacity to 56,000


  5. Kickballer

    Kickballer Member

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    I believe the field is too narrow. And Phil had mentioned on the radio, that UCF and OCSC don't have the greatest relationship.
  6. njndirish

    njndirish Member

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    What happened?
  7. Kickballer

    Kickballer Member

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    Im not too sure. Probably a disagreement about something.
  8. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    I think the Citrus bowl will be okay if they can get that proposed renovation done, and if they draw decent attendances (25-30K).
  9. Prime Time

    Prime Time Member

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    Doubt it would get that high. But Rawlins has said the team needs a SSS. Renovations to the Citrus Bowl would help the team stay there in the short-term, but in the medium to long term, a SSS plan is needed for MLS to come.
  10. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    I would think a renovated Citrus Bowl would be easier for OCSC to pull off than building a new stadium out right.

    What is the current status of the renovations? Didn't they officially halt the plans to renovate the CB when they ran out of funds and focused on the new Magic arena and the PAC?
  11. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    with SJE getting final approval for their stadium there is now only ONE team in MLS that does not control entirely its own stadium (and only two teams in "outsized" not built for soccer stadiums).

    what on earth makes you think that after struggling for 17 years to finally get this number down to 1 (or 2) that the league is going to willing let in an expansion team without a SSS either built or nearly done?

    MLS isn't going to want an Orlando team that plays in a shitty, old, decrepit, lipsticked on a pig renovated, giant american football stadium that's capacity is 70K. the longer Orlando fans hold on to this delusion ... and allow the FO to hold on to this delusion ... that the CB is a viable option, the longer you will go without being an MLS city.

    there are pretty much only 3 things Orlando needs to do to get an expansion team ... but all 3 must be done and are pretty much non-negotiable:

    1. build a SSS of ~20K capacity (or have one started and near to completion)
    2. have $50M for an expansion fee (plus $5M-$10M for start up costs)
    3. increase the stature of the team such that the average attendance is in the 8K-10K range consistently over many years, the team has outstanding corporate sponsorship $ coming in and the team's profile/market presence in the media and consciousness is very high and second to only the Magic.

    you don't do all three ... you don't get an MLS team ... it is pretty much that simple.
  12. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you just bored and feel like slamming on a fellow Florida city? I don't get the vitriol. Maybe its some kind of revenge for all the Off Topic Jacksonville talk on this thread and subforum.

    The Citrus Bowl is old and made for American Football. But OCSC currently enjoys a great relationship with the city and has favorable rates on rent at the building. And ONLY because they may renovate the CB is it being considered as a viable option for the future. And it won't be lipstick on a pig type renovation. The last number I saw was around $200 million in renovations. In fact the mayor even said one main reason to renovate it (besides attracting a Super Bowl) was for World Cup events. Of course most of that doesn't make perfect sense, but his meaning is there. Mayor Dyer of Orlando is soccer friendly if he is anything.

    It works for the Sounders. It works (in their minds) for the Revs. So don't say it doesn't work. It can work. Do you actually think most MLS teams even own their smallish soccer stadiums? Wrong. Most are own by municipalities who rent it back to the clubs. If the future owners of the Orlando MLS franchise, whoever they may be, can work out a deal like most MLS clubs, in a favorable arrangement, it can work great.

    Of course having their own brand new 20,000 seater is much better, but a renovated Citrus Bowl is much more realistic.
  13. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    if all you have to offer MLS is a renovated CB you won't get a team. count on it. the league is done with slapdash solutions to the stadium situation.

    and i cannot even believe you tried to compare the CB to CenturyLink field or Gillette Stadium.

    A. you aren't Seattle. i am strong supporter of Orlando being a great expansion city, best in FL. but to think you are going to average 35K is just stupid. if Orlando can average 18K-20K that would be amazing and i fully expect them to be able to do that. so a 70K stadium won't work, the fans will be rattling around and it will kill the atmosphere and look terrible. this isn't MLS 1.0

    B. CenturyLink and was specificially designed, from the beginning, with soccer and an MLS team in mind. the CB was not ... and no amount of renovation will make it have a suitable and viable soccer configuration.

    C. both CenturyLink and Gillette are OWNED FULLY by the owners of the MLS teams ... you know because they own the NFL teams that play there. so "favourable rent situation" is not the same as no rent.

    D. MLS does not want more fake grass teams. they are willing to make exceptions for teams in climates that preclude real grass but they sure as sh&t aren't going to want a team in FL ... in a place where the climate is going to make any MLS team there a mainstay of their "winter" part of the schedule to have fake grass. this is MLS 1.0 thinking ... by the time Orlando wants an expansion team it will be MLS 3.0.

    again, i absolutely want and think orlando deserves an expansion team. but they won't get it if all they have to offer is the CB. that is just a fact. the league is moving FORWARD and not interested in going backwards to the days of the Metrostars playing in the Meadowlands or DCU playing in RKF or the Wizards playing in Arrowhead. that is the MLS past. the MLS future is SSS (with 3 very unique exceptions) and if Orlando wants to be part of the future MLS everybody from supporters to the FO needs to realize that. it isn't vitrol it is just reality ... and since i very much want to have an MLS team nearby it is actual selfishness on my part that i am trying to convince people that settling for the CB solution is going to lead nowhere near MLS.
  14. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    A) true Orlando is not Seattle, I don't believe Seattle ever broke 10,000 for any USL match. :D

    B) I've been to both for soccer matches. Of course CL is nicer it's newer. I wonder what $200 million will do to the CB?

    C) we always say that, but do the Seahawks and Pats really "own" those buildings. Maybe. I used to think all MLS teams owned their stadiums. But they don't. Union doesn't. RSL doesn't. FCD doesn't. I think running it, maybe not paying taxes for 10 years or even deferred rent isn't owning. And as I said, the CB is be rented now at an extremely and unnaturally low from the city to City. If that same environment existed after renovations, they might have the same situation.

    D) I agree however the CB switched to field turf just a few years ago. Maybe after spending 100s of millions they might put in real grass again. They decide to switch because of bad drainage and poor maintenance.

    Listen, I agree a SSS is better than even a renovated football stadium. My point isn't what is right or wrong, it's what is more likely. I hope OCSC and their potential future MLS investors have a great plan to level the old O-Rena and build a SSS. I just think it's more likely that the city/county renovate the Citrus Bowl than OCSC builds a stadium.

    Also I don't think MLS isn't so vehemently opposed to it as you predict.
  15. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    and all i am saying is that in 2015-16 MLS is not going to want to welcome a new expansion team that harkens back to 1999.

    so if you don't think that OCSC can get a SSS done for whatever reason, lack of funds, willingness to settle for a renovated CB, no city/state support for it or whatever then you should probably get used to the idea of not being in MLS.

    which sucks because i would love to have an MLS team in Orlando because then i could finally have my own personal MLS team to support.

    again, we are on the "same side" here so to speak. we both think and want Orlando to get an MLS team ... i just don't think that will ever happen without a SSS because i have followed the league since 1996 and i have seen the trajectory the league is on and i cannot believe that the league would want to accept an expansion team that isn't up to the new MLS 3.0 standards, not when there are so many choices and so few spots.
  16. Prime Time

    Prime Time Member

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    Rawlins has said basically that MLS is okay with short to medium term them playing in a RENOVATED Citrus Bowl, but that a SSS would need to be in the plans/works for medium to long term.
  17. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    Chicago FIRE does not own Toyota Park, we rent it from the Village of Bridgeview. is that who you refer as the 1 team?
  18. cwilke1

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    even if all of the millions of MLS fans channel their inner Don Garber and try to manufacture an urgent competition between cities for some final expansion spots in MLS doesn't make that the reality.

    MLS has turned down no good expansion bids lately. The hefty expansion fee itself weeds out the weak bids.

    A TV deal is where the major money is to be made for the league, and continuing to expand the national footprint will be more important to the owners in the future than perfect stadium situations.
  19. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    i can almost assure you they are not. don will say anything, or hem and haw and hedge about anything when talking to prospective expansion cities ... but in the end there are too many candidates who WILL provide all three things that MLS is looking for ... there is no way that MLS unveils an MLS expansion team without a SSS either built or already on the way to being built.

    MLS wants NYC2 about 100x more than they want orlando and even in NYC, a place where getting a SSS built is nearly impossible, they are INSISTING that no NYC2 will happen until they have a SSS.

    you think they are going to cut Orlando some slack when they wont even cut NYC2 some slack? don't be foolish.

    the only way Orlando gets an MLS team that ends up playing in the CB is if they already have a SSS approved and financed and ground broken or on the way to being broken guaranteed. MLS might ... and i stress might ... consider letting the team come in early and play for ONE season somewhere else.

    but take Montreal ... they could have easily played in Olympic Stadium and waited to expand Stade Saputo but MLS wanted them in their own properly sized SSS in their first season.

    i just cannot fathom where fans and the FO are getting this idea that somehow Orlando is so special that MLS would basically ignore everything that has made the league successful over the past 10 years and just go "oh, well ... sure we've moved past this whole playing in old, decrepit, cavernous american football stadiums where our team's don't have 100% control over scheduling and revenue but we love you guys so much we don't mind that you join the league and take us back to good old 1999.

    as a matter of fact there hasn't been ONE single solitary expansion team since Chivas USA that hasn't had their own SSS or appropriately and specifically configured for soccer stadium (CenturlyLink and BC Place are not comparable to a renovated CB by any stretch. so you think that MLS is all of a sudden going to make an exception for Orlando? seriously?
  20. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    no. "owning" is almost irrelevant. technically the bank or whoever financed many of these stadiums "own" them (just like most people don't "own" their house until it is paid off). but it is THEIR stadium. nobody else plays there and nobody else gets the revenue and it is specifically built for soccer and the Fire.

    CenturlyLink, BC Place and Gillette are the only exceptions ... and extraordinary ones at that.

    CL was built with an MLS team specifically in mind and it is controlled by the same ownership as the Sounders.

    BCPlace had some $500M of renovations and has a roof and inner roof soccer specific set up that allows it to essentially function as a soccer specific stadium for all intents and purposes. last time i checked the CB doesn't have a roof and an inner roof and they aren't going to gut the place and spend $500M on renovating it for the olympics.

    Gillette is owned and controlled by Kraft and even then the fans hate the place, the atmosphere is terrible and every fan of the league basically looks at the NER and their stadium situation as the last vestiges of MLS 1.0. are you saying OSCS wants to be on par with the NER? seriously? and you think MLS wants to bring in an expansion team in a similar (but worse since the CB wouldn't be 100% controlled and owned by the team) situation to the Revs?

    it isn't going to happen folks. i hate to be the bearer of harsh reality. but by the time any Orlando bid to be an expansion team is likely to be considered even DCU and Chivas might be on their way to having their own places ... the league isn't going to just say ... well we love orlando soooooo much that we don't mind undoing decades of work to get every team (aside from maybe NER) into an appropriately sized and schedule/revenue controlled by the team stadium situation.
  21. Prime Time

    Prime Time Member

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    Really? How many of them are out there right now?

    That's right because it's NYC and it would help out the league (TV ratings, another team to attract big-name players, NY rivalry as well as other teams on the East Coast). That's a completely different beast.


    An exception? It's not an exception if there's a SSS plan in works for a couple years down the road. The atmosphere inside CB is said to be good despite the stadium being so large.
  22. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    we are splitting hairs here. as i said IF there is a SSS stadium that has passed ALL government approvals, has complete and total financing secured and all that is left is to break ground and build it ... then yes they MIGHT let Orlando in and let them play in the CB while it is being built ... but that won't take more than ONE season (see Dynamo, Houston and Kansas City, Sporting).

    if that is the scenario you envision then we are on the same page ... that is an Orlando expansion team with a SSS ... we are just quibling over the timing of when it is finished.

    but if you think that MLS is going to let in Orlando with a "well we sure do want to build a SSS someday but for now we'll just play in the CB and work really hard on getting a SSS approved by the government and get all of the money together we super secret promise Don" then you are just dreaming.

    and NYC2 is a very good point of reference. MLS wants a NYC2 expansion team more than it wants anything else ... and if despite how badly they want NYC2 they are willing to wait until they have a SSS signed sealed and delivered (but perhaps not built/finished) until they expand there what on earth makes you think they'd hold Orlando, a place that is nice and all but that they by no means want anywhere near as much as NYC2, to a LOWER standard?

    for Orlando to get an expansion team the MUST a have a SSS ... now whether that is a finished and playable on game day 1 or approved, financed and in the bag all but the actual construction is almost entirely irrelevant.
  23. SoccerPrime

    SoccerPrime Moderator Staff Member

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    If we are purely basing our fantasy of where the next expansion is on plans for a SSS, I think Las Vegas is leading the charge. Is there any group closer to them in actual plans & construction?

    But Orlando seems to be leading today.
  24. cwilke1

    cwilke1 Member

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    Don't forget to include that RSL came in to the league the same time that Chivas USA did, and RSL did not have any SSS plans worked out or finalized when they came into the league. Their SSS has since worked out nicely but when they were allowed into the league it was far from a sure thing. Funding and approval and construction for RSL's SSS didn't start until after RSL's second season in the league when RSL had been playing in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
  25. OleGunnar20

    OleGunnar20 Member+

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    sorry. i should have been more specific ... i only mentioned chivas but i was referring to that year 2005 more than the specific team. that year both expansion teams came in without their own appropriate stadium situation ... and chivas still languishes as the redheaded step child in the HDC and it took RSL 3 years to get their own place.

    it will be a decade from 2005 to when OCSC are likely to get into the league and MLS has moved away and progressed even from that first round of expansion ... the stakes and demands for a prospective expansion team are much much higher than even in 2005. which is why no team since then has gotten into the league without a SSS or a very very suitable modern and/or wholly owned and soccer designed/configured stadium situation. and MLS isn't about to stop requiring that at team 21 in 2015 just for Orlando.

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