Stop the presses! Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer have agreed to a plan to build an $85 million soccer stadium in downtown Orlando for the Orlando City Soccer Club. And the details are:
A $94.5 million package also includes spending tourist taxes to complete the $503 million performing-arts center, as well as increased funding for renovation of the Florida Citrus Bowl. And it pumps millions more into marketing for the tourism industry.
Okay, wow, that’s a lot of stuff, how’s it all being paid for?
City and county staff still will have to work out details of the plan during the next several weeks, Jacobs’ memo says, before it’s brought to both sets of commissioners for review, public hearings and final votes.
Right, details not all worked out, so anyway, how’s it being paid for?
Until now, winning Jacobs’ support was crucial because all the projects rely heavily on funding from the county’s lucrative tourist tax. Under the deal, however, the city would likely issue bonds, putting at least some of the borrowing risk on Orlando taxpayers.
Selling bonds, gotcha — and the bonds would be paid off how?
The team owners say they would pay what is now estimated to be a $70 million franchise fee and put $30 million toward the stadium. The rest of the $85 million would come from a mix of city and county funds, though the city’s financing options are still being worked out.
C’mon, seriously? So three months after Jacobs and Dyer said that they want to build a soccer stadium but don’t know how exactly to pay for it, they’re announcing an agreement to … build a soccer stadium, but they don’t know how exactly to pay for it. And the Orlando Sentinel hides this news in the eighteenth paragraph.
The official announcement from Jacobs and Dyer is expected this afternoon. We can always hope that they’ll have some actual new news to share then, but probably best not to hold your breath.