Source : myfoxorlando.com
By : Keith Landry
Category : Hotel Marketing Florida
The Orlando City Council votes tomorrow on whether to use government money to help pay for a soccer stadium. Orange County Commissioners will take a similar vote later this month. Owners of the Orlando City Soccer Team want to bring professional soccer to Orlando, but Major League Soccer will not give them a team if they do not have a new stadium. City leaders want to build a new 18,000 seat stadium near the Amway Center. The Orlando City Council will vote on a plan to pay for it Monday afternoon. Orlando City Commissioner Robert Stuart said a pro soccer team in Orlando would pump millions of dollars into our local economy and contribute to the image of Orlando as an international destination. Owners of the Orlando City Soccer Team would pay 50 percent of the cost to build the stadium, but would use it 25 percent of the time. Central Florida governments would pay the other half to build it. That money would come from the taxes tourists pay to stay at Orange County’s hotels. Stuart wants people to understand the city can only use the tax dollars in question for sports related projects. “We can’t take this tax base and go and get more cops and do other things. We have this tax base that we’re using has to be used only for this use” said Stuart.
The city would own the stadium and could rent it out for other events to make money when the soccer team is not using it. Stuart explained, “there’s a lot of other things that want to come to Orlando. The NCAA soccer, NCAA lacrosse men and women’s, and high school events. They want to come here and be part of this because we’re centrally located.” Mike Cantone is a former candidate for mayor in Orlando and a vocal critic of the project. “The reality is the economic impact arguments being made by the city and the soccer teams are simply not true. In fact there are more than forty studies recently from across the country indicating that there is little to no economic gain from publicly financed stadiums,” said Cantone. Cantone said tax dollars should not be used to pay for the stadium. “If this was such a good investment, we’d see the team owners and private investors lining up to support this and take all the profit. The fact is it’s a risky endeavor and that’s why they would rather risk public investment instead of private dollars,” he said. Orlando City Commissioners will also vote Monday afternoon on whether to provide additional hotel tax dollars for the performing arts center, Citrus Bowl renovations, and for more sports marketing in Central Florida. Orange County Commissioners will take their final vote on the soccer stadium on October 22nd.
Source : myfoxorlando.com/story/23622674/crticial-vote-monday-on-soccer-stadium