Citrus Bowl ready for Mexico, Costa Rica face off, but concerns linger over new soccer stadium

Rendering of new Orlando Soccer stadiium
Rendering of new Orlando Soccer stadiium

Mexico and Costa Rica, two of CONCACAF’s best, will face off at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, on June 27.

The announcement was made by founder of Orlando City Soccer, Phil Rawlins, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

It will be Mexico’s first game at the Citrus Bowl since their 2-1 win over Ireland in the 1994 World Cup.

“This is more than just a game though folks,” Jacobs said. “It gives us an opportunity to prove we can host these types of grand events.”

The Citrus Bowl welcomed a sold-out crowd of more than 62,000 for Orlando City’s first MLS game earlier this month. In 2014, a $207 million reconstruction of the Citrus Bowl was undertaken, but it’s still not NFL ‘ready.’

In announcing the Mexico-Costa Rica face off, Rawlins referenced the ‘tremendous economic impact’ such sports events bring to the area.

“We know it drives tremendous economic impact as we saw last weekend with the 62,000 people we had in the venue,” he said.

Dyer also referenced the boost to the local economy anticipated from the June 27 Citrus Bowl event.

“From tourism to ticket sales and hotel accommodations, dining and entertainment, it keeps our economy humming,” Dyer said.

Meanwhile, a meeting on Wednesday, convened by Dyer and District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill to keep Parramore residents in the loop on construction of a new dedicated soccer stadium, reportedly raised several questions.

The new soccer stadium is expected to be construction at the corner of Church Street and Parramore in downtown Orlando.

Hill talked about the many opportunities and revitalization that new developments will bring to the Parramore area, including jobs, training and apprenticeship programs.

However, some Parramore residents are not persuaded the new soccer-specific stadium would be beneficial. They believe that accompanying higher rents in the neighborhood will force many out of the historic Black area and those who remain behind will no longer feel a part of the gentrified community.

Dyer said it was important for the city to keep residents in the know, so that they feel included and have all the information they need.

Tickets for the Mexico-Costa Rica go on sale April 15 and will be available to season ticket holders on March 23.

 

 

 

 

 

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