This afternoon a Bi-partisan group featuring former candidates for office and ex party leaders organized to engage the Orange County Commission and speak out against any possible plans for a Soccer only stadium for the possibility of an MLS franchise in the City Beautiful.
Former Orange County Mayoral Candidate Matt Falconer, Orlando Mayor Candidate Mike Cantone, as well as former State House and Orlando Commissioner candidate Luwanna Gelzer voiced their concerns over such plans by bringing up the condition of the Paramore community the stadium would be built in and current living conditions in the often ignored community.
The results were mixed.
The initiative got good media coverage. I’ll feature some of the links in tomorrow’s political headlines. These personalities love attention from the press and if there goal was to keep their faces out their for future political plans it worked.
The problem was the stadium wasn’t on the agenda. It’s not even close to coming before the Orange Commission. There are still a lot of moving parts going in this complicated push by the Orlando City Soccer Club to bring MLS Soccer here and there are connections from here to Tallahassee all the way down to Brazil, and if this does come down before the Commission the group will have to do it all over again and with much more opposition.
If the names sound familiar they should. Falconer has stayed busy as a Tax Payer advocate and considered a run for office last year. He’s been a frequent critic of Jacobs’ policies since they ran against each other. Cantone and Gelzer actually worked together during the previous municipal election cycle by accusing their opponents Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioner Sam Ings of Ballot Fraud. That presser also got good coverage but the call for an investigation beared no fruit.
Despite this unusual political collaboration, their concern is shared by many over what kind of an investment a Soccer Only Stadium is and where the money will come from. The idea to modify the existing Citrus Bowl to accommodate MLS Soccer is a far more popular idea with powerful voices asking why that’s not possible. So, while the group’s timing was off, the validity of the issue itself was not.