Popularity of football in USA is growing and further clubs aspire to reach MLS status. Latest stadium idea comes from Orlando in Florida, where the local team hopes to become an MLS franchise in 2016.
Orlando City may be a little-known club outside the US, but they have a lot to show locally. Managed to draw over 20,000 to a game despite not being in the top league and recently gathered over 15,000 signatures in support of the MLS aspiration.
Currently Major League Soccer has no club in Florida or even in the South East of the country and that's where City see their chance. The club was granted a $2-million financial support for their new stadium earlier this week, while further $20 million may come in October, when vote on new tax is scheduled.
Overall the football-specific ground is going to be a lot more costly, estimated at some $100 million. The club also needs to acquire land before it goes ahead with their ambitious plan.
Recent days saw the architects from Woods Bagot release initial renderings of the stadium commissioned by Orlando City. Capacity is yet to be disclosed, but is thought to be within the 18,000-25,000 MLS preference. Should the images prove precise, there will also be room for expansion under the roof covering all spectators.
The future stadium is to be simple, but elegant. The lines are crisp and rectilinear, creating a translucent white “jewel box”, as architects describe it, with the bold colours of Orlando City (purple) glowing through a louvred skin. Rectangular and compact shape is also thought to resemble the English stadiums this one was inspired with.
Should City go forward with their MLS negotiation and become an expansion team in the near future, we could see the stadium built within 2 years, possibly in 2016.