Dear Community Leader,
Throughout the years, our Central Florida region has joined together in historic partnerships to not only create, but to accomplish a shared vision for the future of our community. From the development of our Medical City at Lake Nona, to our world-class community venues, to SunRail, our regional leaders’ willingness to work together has resulted in several milestone accomplishments for Orlando in a short period of time.
Last night, we celebrated another milestone for our community as the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a funding package to allow for the construction of a new Downtown Orlando soccer stadium, a vital step in bringing Major League Soccer (MLS) to Orlando and the first MLS team in the southeast. The package also provides additional funding for the Orange County Convention Center, Florida Citrus Bowl, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Visit Orlando and the Central Florida Sports Commission.
Approval of this funding package will greatly benefit our region in several ways, including new business opportunities for our local companies, new jobs for our residents and by bringing even more visitors to our region. The hospitality industry remains the backbone of our economy and increasing domestic and international travel is critical to ensuring the economic growth of Central Florida.
Through the ownership of Orlando City Soccer, we have a unique opportunity to bring a world of soccer fans and their economic impact to Central Florida’s front door. The approved funding package also ensures that the Central Florida Sports Commission and Visit Orlando have the resources they need to draw new events and grow the number of international visitors to our community.
We have already seen the caliber of events we can attract to Orlando with the Amway Center including the NBA All-Star Game, World Championship Boxing and NCAA Basketball Tournaments. With a new performing arts center, enhanced Citrus Bowl and soccer-specific stadium, we have the ability to host hundreds of more events and attract millions of additional visitors to our region each year.
The visitors who attend these events spend money at our local businesses which equates to new jobs and opportunities for everyone in Orlando and generates sales tax revenues that have benefits across the entire state of Florida. In addition, many of the businesses who call Orlando home tell us that one of the top reasons for choosing Central Florida is our high quality of life and amenities like our hometown sports teams, community venues and the soon-to-open SunRail.
I would like to thank Mayor Jacobs and the Orange County Board of Commissioners for their continued partnership. The results of our partnership will provide benefits for our local community for generations to come. I would also like to thank the Orlando City Council, Seminole County Commission and the leaders of our tourism industry for supporting our collective vision for a City with world-class amenities that can be enjoyed by our residents and visitors alike.