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'Orlando Dreamers' baseball stadium rendering revealed

Orlando Dreamers Baseball Stadium rendering
Orlando City Baseball Dreamers LLC
Orlando Dreamers Baseball Stadium rendering

Orlando is making a pitch for a major league baseball team. Leaders believe if they create a high-end stadium the Major League Baseball organization will come.

The effort is being led by Pat Williams, co-founder of the Orlando Magic. On Tuesday, Williams shared rendered images of a possible stadium on International Drive between State Road 528 and the Aquatica Orlando Water Park.

Images revealed Williams' vision of a see-through dome ceiling capable of seating 45,000 fans. The stadium includes a long walkway entrance also covered by a see-through ceiling. Williams believes the stadium plans, and the plan to fund it, is revolutionary enough for the MLB to consider expanding into Orlando.

Pat Williams
Joe Mario Pedersen
Pat Williams, co-founder of the Orlando Magic, unveils his plans for a possible Orlando baseball stadium.

"This stadium would make us the leading candidate for the next MLB franchise. Best media market, best stadium, best location... We have everything in Orlando," he said.

Williams first announced his intent to bring baseball to Orlando in 2019 after the MLB announced it was looking to expand the league by adding two teams. Williams thinks Orlando is primed for a baseball team. But the window to do so could close soon.

“This is never gonna happen again. This will be the only time Orlando has a shot to become a major league baseball city," Williams said. "And I'm convinced that without Major League Baseball, you're a sports city, but you're not a big league city.”

The project is expected to cost $1.7 billion, including parking garages for approximately 6700 vehicles over a 35.5-acre property. The estimated cost to the county is $975 million dollars in tourist development tax funding, which would be financed through 30-year AAA municipal bonds. An additional $700 million dollars would still be needed to complete the project. Williams said it would be the largest private investment ever for a publicly owned stadium.

Orlando Dreamers Baseball Stadium rendering
Orlando City Baseball Dreamers LLC
Orlando Dreamers Baseball Stadium rendering

"We felt the right way to do this was to come back with the most taxpayer-responsible stadium financing structure and a history of sports," Williams said. "I'm pleased to announce that part of this structure will be making sure Orange County is not on the hook. For any operating deficit of this stadium, the team is going to divert a portion of its revenues to make sure we're not going back to Orange County, and asking for money every year to support the stadium."

Williams said there would also be a capital reserve account for long-term capital improvements and renovations.

The MLB's decision is expected to come this summer.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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