Orlando Dreamers Unveil Initial Design Concept for New Major League Baseball Stadium in Orange County
Proposed MLB Stadium Project Estimated to Create Over 25,000 Permanent Jobs and Generate Over $40 billion in Economic Output in Orange County over 30 years
ORLANDO, FL - Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, LLC (Orlando Dreamers) today unveiled architectural renditions for a proposed new Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium in Orange County, Florida. The interior shots portray a state-of-the-art design, featuring a domed stadium with a capacity of up to 45,000 fans, with innovative architectural features to create more intimate atmospheres for better fan experiences, while the exterior image reveals the location - a sprawling 35.5-acre parcel on International Drive between SR 528 and the Aquatica Orlando water park.
"We wanted to create something special, something both Orlando residents and tourists alike would enjoy," said Orlando Dreamers Founder and President, Pat Williams. "Being located in the heart of the tourist district and the 80 million visitors we see in Orlando annually; we understand that this venue must be an attraction unto itself. We are designing the stadium with the fan experience in mind and are using innovation to create a unique experience unlike anything seen in Major League Baseball."
According to a report and analysis conducted by JLL, a leading, national professional services firm, the stadium's construction phase will result in more than 20,000 jobs and a boost of over $2.7 billion to the economy in the region. In the operational phase, with an MLB team playing 81 home games a year in the stadium, permanent job creation is expected to increase to nearly 25,000, and the MLB team and stadium operations are estimated to generate an annual output of $1.16 billion in Orange County, which will significantly increase economic activity in the area. In aggregate, the JLL study confirms the impact to Orange County from bringing MLB to the county to play in the proposed domed stadium will be in excess of $40 billion over 30 years when including the impact of spring training and other development on the 35.5-acre parcel.
The Dreamers' proposal calls for $700 million in private funds, the largest private investment ever for a publicly owned Major League Baseball stadium. In addition, Williams said the Dreamers plan to build youth ballparks across Orange County as part of their grassroots effort to promote youth baseball. Further, emphasis will be placed on hiring minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses and contractors for the parcel's development and operation.
"This stadium would make us the leading candidate for the next MLB franchise. Best media market, best stadium, best location...we have everything here in Orlando," said Williams. "You don't get many chances to add a professional sports franchise to your community. If we don't act now, we may never have this opportunity again."
The proposed MLB stadium and associated parking garages are anticipated to cost approximately $1.7 billion. In addition to the new stadium, which would be owned by Orange County and be home to a MLB team, the project is designed to include office space, retail shops, approximately 1,000 hotel rooms, restaurants, a music venue, and an iconic baseball museum. Orlando Dreamers' recent application for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds calls for Orange County to issue a $975 million 30-year municipal bond, with the balance of the project to be financed by the MLB team and its affiliates. No additional government funding for ongoing stadium operations or capital expenditure would be required from Orange County beyond the initial investment.
"Given the limited uses of the TDT funds by law, we are confident that no other project - past or future - compares as favorably as our project when considering job creation and economic impact," said Williams.
TDT funds are utilized to fund tourism-related advertisements and facilities as mandated by Florida law. TDT-funded facilities in Orange County include the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, Amway Center, Camping World Stadium, and Orange County Convention Center. The current TDT rate in Orange County is 6%.
About Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, LLC
Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, LLC was established to bring Major League Baseball to Orlando and Central Florida. The organization is led by Pat Williams, founder of the Orlando Magic, and updates can be found at www.OrlandoDreamers.com. Orlando is the largest media market in the United States without a Major League Baseball team, recently surpassing Miami in terms of media market size. Orlando is also the most visited destination in the world.