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Keeping The Dream Alive - Orlando Dreamers pitch $1.7 Billion Baseball Stadium on I-Drive

The Orlando Dreamers are dreaming BIG with proposals for a $1.7 Billion Stadium that they hope will either persuade Major League Baseball side Tampa Bay Rays to move to Orlando, or convince the MLB to expand its current roster of teams.

Orlando Dreamers new stadium on International Drive Orlando

Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams has a dream to bring MLB to Orlando and today, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Williams unveiled plans for his very own Field Of Dreams, a state of the art $1.7 Billion Baseball Stadium to be located in the heart of the tourist district, on International Drive close to Aquatica Orlando.

Orlando Dreamers new stadium on International Drive Orlando

The plans to bring Major League Baseball to Orlando surfaced back in 2019 when Pat Williams, the man who brought NBA basketball to Orlando, announced in November 2019, that he wanted to make the City Beautiful a Major League Baseball town.

Williams revealed that the group heading up the Orlando MLB effort will be called the Dreamers, “a nod to Walt Disney and Arnold Palmer and the many other visionaries who helped develop this area into the special place it has become,” said Williams.

Seizing on news that Major League Baseball plans to expand by two cities in the near future, Williams enacted a plan to get community support from Central Florida baseball fans, a plan similar to the one he successfully implemented in order to land NBA basketball here in the late 1980s. Less than a month later, over 12,000 people requested information about purchasing season tickets.

“Orlando has proven in the years since the Magic began playing in 1989 that it is every bit a big league sports town,” said Williams. “The Orlando Magic is as popular as ever, soccer fans have embraced the Orlando City Lions, and now it’s time to step up to the plate and make baseball happen, too.

Orlando Dreamers Logo

At today's press conference held at Dubsdread Golf Club, Pat Williams 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.

Orlando Dreamers new stadium on International Drive Orlando

"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%.

Orlando Dreamers

About The Stadium

The vision for the stadium is to provide a unique experience for all types of fans, an experience unlike any other in Major League Baseball.

Using innovative architectural design, the stadium will have a roof but still provide the feel of natural sunlight. Games will start on time, never rain out and comfort levels will be at all-time highs inside the building.

While stadium capacity is expected to be approximately 45,000 fans, architects have strived to create an intimate atmosphere. There will be many different aspects of the stadium to explore, and the venue is being designed to maximize the fan experience. This will be a place where people come for memorable, unifying entertainment.

The preferred location for the stadium is in the heart of the tourist district on I-Drive. As it will compete with other local attractions, this venue will meet the standards expected of an Orlando tourist destination. Baseball will be the main anchor in the district, but it will also include office space, retail shops, approximately 1,000 hotel rooms, restaurants, a music venue, and an iconic baseball museum.

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.

For more information:

Orlando Dreamers

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