New Orlando Baseball Stadium Will Cost $1.7 Billion And Hopefully Attract A New MLB Franchise

New Orlando Baseball Stadium Will Cost $1.7 Billion And Hopefully Attract A New MLB Franchise

A new Orlando baseball stadium will cost $1.7 Billion and will hopefully attract a new MLB franchise to Central Florida; the Orlando Dreamers. Almost four years after Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams first announced his plan to secure a Major League Baseball franchise to Orlando, we are getting a first look at a projected 45,000-seat, domed baseball stadium that would ultimately be home to the “Orlando Dreamers.”

Williams, the founder and president of Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, said much progress has been made in putting Orlando on the map as an MLB expansion site. During a news session he introduced artist representations of a potential stadium. Williams focused on four essentials to help make an MLB franchise in Orlando a reality: the marketplace, the ballpark, the front office staff, and the owner.

The New Orlando Baseball Stadium Could Generate Billions

Williams said the market in Central Florida is right for an MLB Franchise and that securing a team could generate an estimated $40 billion in revenue for Central Florida over the next three decades, when including spring training and other development at the ballpark location.

Williams held a meeting with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings who grieved that all the region’s major sports and entertainment venues to date had been built in Downtown Orlando. Mayor Demings urged Williams to look for a development site somewhere else in the county.

Plans call for the stadium to be built on about 35 acres in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district, where the 528 crosses over I-Drive.  This would be south of the toll road and next to Aquatica. This would ultimately have a pedestrian walkway connecting it to a SunRail station, if the rail line is extended to the convention center.

Who Will Be The Franchise Owner?

With all the planning and organization to bring the MLB to Orlando, Williams said a franchise owner is yet to be decided.

“Usually, it’s the owner who interviews potential employees. In this case, the employees are interviewing the owner to decide what owner we want. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before,” Williams added.

Saying there have been some exciting interviews with possible candidates, Williams described how the owner not only has to be acceptable to Major League Baseball and a good fit for the Orlando market but also must have affluence and vast wealth, citing that major league sports is for multi-billionaires.

How Will The Orlando Dreamers Stadium Be Financed?

This is a $1.7 Billion ball park. The Orlando Dreamers’ offer asks for $700 million in private funds and nearly a billion dollars in community financing through the Tourist Development Tax. A resort tax on tourists which brings in millions of dollars for tourism development.

Also, the ballpark complex would include shops, restaurants, commercial space, 1,000 hotel rooms, and parking garages for almost 7,000 cars.

Mayor Demings has asked for a task force to assess where resort tax dollars are spent and Williams said the Orlando Dreamers team would have to make a solid proposal to the county. As part of the proposal, the Dreamers plan to build youth ballparks across Orange County as part of an organic effort to promote baseball programs to young people. Only time will tell if this new ballpark design will come to fruition.

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