Orlando City filled out the corners and added a south stand to beef up its capacity.
Orlando City filled out the corners and added a south stand to beef up its capacity. (Teresa Burney)

Site work for Orlando City Soccer Club's new downtown stadium is underway two blocks from the Amway Center. It is scheduled to be finished by summer or early fall 2016.

The stadium grew after Orlando City decided to finance the stadium itself rather than rely on city and state funding for a stadium that would ultimately belong to the City of Orlando. Now, with Orlando City privately funding it, the stadium will be owned  by the club.

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The seat count grew from 19,500 to 25,500 and the price tag spiked to $155 million from $110 million under Orlando City's new plan. Since the owners liked the original stadium plan, and because they wanted to minimize construction delay, the redesign filled in the corners on the original stadium and added a south stand to make room for the extra seats. The team has been selling 31,000 seats a game at the Citrus Bowl, its temporary home. Many of the new seats will be premium.

The stadium has roofs designed to intensify the sound inside the stadium. There will be a standing zone for fans as well. The field will be grass and Orlando City's offices will be housed within the stadium.

A signature piece, a large Lion statue that ws supposed to face Church Street, has been nixed for now because of the new seating,  but team President and Founder Phil Rawlins says it might be resurrected in a different corner of the stadium.

"This will be the best, loudest, most unique stadium in all major league Soccer," said Rawlins.

FAST FACTS

Location: Church Street

Owners:  Orlando City Soccer Club

Operator: Orlando City Soccer Club

Architect: Populous

Construction Manager: Barton Malow

Developer's Representative:  ICON Venue Group

Budget: $155 million

Start Date: August 2015

END DATE: Summer/Early Fall 2016.

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FUNDING PARTNERS: Orlando City Soccer Club

DESCRIPTION: 25,500-seat soccer stadium for the MLS Orlando City Soccer Club Lions.

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