Major League Soccer will move “very quickly” to begin the process to add Orlando City as an expansion franchise if Tuesday’s crucial county vote goes the club’s way, according to a Monday report in the Orlando Sentinel.
The commissioners of Orange County will vote on Tuesday whether to devote $20 million in tourist taxes toward the construction of an $84 million soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando. The vote passed unanimously earlier this month in an Orlando city board of commissioners vote, and Tuesday’s county vote is seen as the last obstacle.
The Sentinel quoted MLS president Mark Abbott, who was in Orlando on Monday to meet with the county commissioners, as saying that should the vote go in the USL PRO club’s favor, "[The league’s] next step is to finalize an expansion agreement, and I believe that we'll be able to do that.”
An MLS spokesman confirmed those quotes to MLSsoccer.com on Monday.
The league plans to add four more teams by 2020, and Orlando City appear to have nearly all the elements in place to make the move. The stadium plan is the final hurdle.
“We’d like Orlando to be the next team that we add,” Abbott said in a video posted to Orlando City’s YouTube page (watch above). “A lot of pieces are already in place. We have a strong ownership group, we obviously have a strong fan base here, but we need a stadium.”