Orlando City SC stadium project (nearly) a go

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Orange County and the city of Orlando, Fla., agreed on a deal Thursday that could get USL Pro club Orlando City SC the necessary funds to finalize its stadium project. A soccer-specific stadium deal is all that stands between Orlando and final negotiations for a Major League Soccer franchise.

County mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer will announce the agreement after leaders of the tourism industry in the area review it, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The deal includes the $20 million pledge the club needs to build an $85-million downtown stadium, as well as various amounts for area projects.

The Citrus Bowl (pictured), where Orlando City currently plays, will receive additional money for renovations as part of the new stadium proposal.

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On Tuesday, Orlando City supporters showed up in force for a public presentation by president Phil Rawlins to the Orange County Board of Commissioners. Rawlins said the team would pay the franchise fee — which he estimated at $70 million — and put $30 million toward the stadium.

Details of the plan need to be worked out over the next few weeks before it can be heard publicly and voted on, but having two of Central Florida’s biggest political names behind it is a positive sign.

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