Mayor Dyer working to get state funding for soccer stadium, UCF downtown campus

By Julie Gargotta, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 6:23 AM EST

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is headed to Tallahassee as part of the 2015 Florida Legislative session. Dyer is hoping to advance the City of Orlando’s priorities, including securing state funding for the new MLS soccer stadium and funding for UCF’s downtown campus

Leaders said they need $30 million in order to complete the stadium project as intended.

The Mayor’s Office says that if Dyer and his team don’t secure the funding for the stadium that they’re seeking, the project may have to be scaled back.

Last year, professional sports organizations in Florida submitted proposals asking for taxpayer money. They had to show the economic impact their project would bring to the region, citing facets from job creation to utilization of local companies for construction.

The NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins and the Daytona International Speedway all asked for expansion money.  Orlando City Soccer was the only new franchise to request funding.

When economists ranked their proposals, Orlando City Soccer came in first among the applicants. 

“We have done economic studies that show for every dollar that the state government is going to invest, there will be a dollar and a half return from activities associated with the stadium," said Dyer of the project. "The city, the team itself and the counties are funding partners.”

Dyer told News 13 that he's confident that they will secure the necessary funding to complete the stadium.

“We have gone through the process that they set up last year. We were ranked number one among the applicants, so we feel like we’ve touched every base, and that we ought to be in good shape with the legislative budget committee.” 

Orlando's Mayor is also lobbying for the new UCF and Valencia College shared campus in downtown Orlando. Project leaders are considering the Creative Village area of Downtown, situated on the former Amway Arena site; 68 acres were freed up when the Orlando Magic moved its arena.

The proposed campus is estimated to cost just over $200 million, and would be funded over multiple years.

While Mayor Dyer is focused on getting the money for these major projects this week, it will be up to the legislature to decide if they’ll grant the money in the upcoming session.