Funding approved for Orlando downtown MLS stadium

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Associated Press

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 23 at 7:04 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando, Fla.'s county commission has approved $20 million in tourism taxes to be used toward the funding of an $84 million downtown Major League Soccer stadium.

The commission's vote was 5-2 Tuesday night. It came after a six-hour meeting that included comments from more than 100 members of the community speaking mostly in support.

MLS president Mark Abbott said Monday that if the county commission approved the plan it would award the city an expansion franchise.

The commission's decision came after an unanimous vote earlier this month by city officials on the same funding plan to help the minor league USL Pro League Orlando City Soccer Club build the 18,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium. The team will contribute the rest of the funding for construction.

Orlando City Soccer owner Phil Rawlins says an agreement with MLS could be completed within weeks.

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