Set to debut in MLS in 2015, Orlando City kept the wheels rolling on its stadium project this week, announcing on Tuesday that architectural firm Populous, which has worked on several other MLS stadiums, will lead the design and construction team for the new venue in downtown Orlando.
Populous has designed a range of MLS stadiums, including Sporting Park, BBVA Compass Stadium and Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and will lead this project in conjunction with Barton Malow – a leading construction services company which has worked on redevelopment projects at iconic venues like the Rose Bowl and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
ICON Venue Group, a project management firm which has managed eight of the 11 MLS stadium projects over the past decade, will represent Orlando City in the process.
The 2015 expansion club are set to begin construction on the facility, located downtown in the Parramour neighborhood, later this year. The stadium will be ready for use in 2015 or early 2016; the Lions will begin MLS play at the renovated Citrus Bowl.
The project team promises “a complete 'street-to-seat' experience" for Orlando City fans, with compelling activities before, during and after matches.
“We are truly excited to have Populous, Barton Malow and ICON Venue Group on board for the design and construction for the new, downtown stadium in Orlando,” said Orlando City president Phil Rawlins in a statement. “They each have proven track records, and I look forward to working with them as we continue our progress toward our inaugural MLS season in 2015.”
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The new stadium's design and layout will be linked to the nearby Amway Center, the arena that is home to the NBA's Orlando Magic – also designed by Populous – to foster the development of a vibrant sports and entertainment district accessible by both car and public transportation.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the city of Orlando to engrain soccer into the fabric of the city with the design of a new, soccer-specific urban stadium,” said Bruce Miller, principal at Populous and leader of the design team. “Our design team is excited to work to capture the spirit of both the city and the fan base in our design to create a stadium that will be vibrant, intimate and iconic. It’s an opportunity for the team to redefine the soccer experience for an entire region.”