Following up from his original April 22 memo slamming the MLS for “fraudulent statements,” Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards is now requesting more information related to the Citrus Bowl renovations and controversial Major League Soccer stadium for the Orlando City Soccer club in his latest memo to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Edwards also previously stated that Orlando was “absolutely duped” by Major League Soccer on the stadium issue after I broke the story locally about Atlanta’s new MLS franchise which will play in the NFL stadium being built for the Falcons.
On April 30, Commissioner Edwards asked for information about the possibility of retrofitting the Citrus Bowl, currently undergoing hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations, to accommodate an MLS franchise. During official County discussions, that option was completely rejected by soccer team officials as well as Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Mayor Jacobs, both of whom championed the stadium on behalf of the private soccer team.
“However, members of the public and the Board of County Commissioners were not informed of this information,” Edwards says in his latest memo. “I would appreciate receiving any documentation concerning the review of the possibility of the Citrus Bowl being retrofitted. For purposes of transparency and making an informed decision, I believe this information should have been disclosed instead of blanket statements that the Citrus Bowl could not meet the standards of MLS.”
The Board of County Commissioners will revisit the MLS soccer stadium issue tomorrow, May 6, during their meeting. No tourist tax dollars have been released by Orange County for the new stadium yet, as Buddy Dyer has not yet fulfilled the city’s obligations in terms of securing the land where it will be built. Dyer is attempting to use eminent domain to seize a local Parramore church (Faith Deliverance) causing more controversy in Orlando’s historic African-American community.