It was an exciting day.
George Zimmerman was arrested again for his alleged role in a domestic dispute in Apopka. Zimmerman was picked up in Seminole County where the Sheriff is Don Eslinger, who was rumored to be on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s new list of potential Lieutenant Governor candidates.
We’ve also got the upcoming MLS announcement. We’re not suppose to know it’s MLS but a big event is planned tomorrow on Church Street and if it turns out to be anything but the announcment that Orlando will be getting a Pro Soccer Team, it will have been the biggest political prank of the year.
These two stories lead your FPFT Wrap.
Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your daily wrap for Monday November 18th, a very busy Monday kicking off a very busy week.
Let’s kick off with the big announcement tomorrow. The Orlando City Soccer club will have a big “secret” announcment, it’s secret but we all know what they mean. Orlando is getting MLS. That’s right the City Beautiful will receive it’s second professional sports franchise. And that’s expected to be announced tomorrow.. You know it’s been a long fight, a long fight to secure the funding for a new stadium, you’ll recall MLS said Orlando could not have a team without a new stadium, a lot of advocates like myself thought we could have used the Citrus Bowl, that wasn’t the case so, here we are. This long battle for funding began. Ultimately the club ended up achieving it’s goal, no pun intended. It took a lot to put this together. They had to get the media on their side, the club made massive media buys, they bought a spot on talk radio where they promoted not only the idea but the benefits to the community should they get a team.
They went to Tallahassee, last session you’ll recall there was a bill that would have subsidized a potion of the construction costs with tax payer dollars. And Orlando City Soccer along with Mayor Buddy Dyer, who has been a vocal advocate for the entire time went up there. Unfortunately for the club time ran out, a rare loss for Dyer but the club kept moving forward.
I think the smartest part of this entire operation that City Soccer did was bundle it with the two other venues. I’m talking about the Citrus Bowl and the Performing Arts Center and using tourism development tax dollars to pay for the costs. They bundled it together and put lawmakers in a decision. Do they turn it all down? Do they go through the painful process of pulling them apart? All of them which have a large group of support. The Soccer stadium always had popular opinion behind it.
Plus, they were able to convince Teresa Jacobs, Buddy Dyer we know, wants that big city vision, he wants the city to be mentioned in the same breath as other major cities and wants a professional franchise to come here and thrive, we know he wants that. But for Teresa Jacobs who wants all of those things too, it’s a tough sell she’s much more careful on how Tax dollars are spent. To get her on their side was a huge winning point for City Soccer, you’ll recall she was on the Tourism Board that unanimously approved it. It went to the City Council where they all line up behind Mayor Dyer, then to the Orange Commission where it got a little big of kick back but there too, it was ultimately approved. Now, here we are, this time tomorrow, we’ll have the big news about a new franchise.
Big story there but possibly, not the biggest story of the day. A familiar name in the news is once again at the top of the news. George Zimmerman was arrested for his part in a domestic abuse case in Apopka, he was later arrested in Seminole County. How is this politically relevant? Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger showed up today on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s names of potential Lieutenant Governor Candidates. What a busy day for him. Eslinger is popular in the community, he was given a lot of credit for keeping the peace in the community following the George Zimmerman trial.
This means that is Eslinger were to get the nod. He could potentially be running against another law enforcement leader, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings who is being considered to be Charlie Crist’s runningmate. You could have two former law enforment officers from the area. You could have them on opposinng tickets.
So a lot going on in the City Beautiful. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for now that’s it, I’m Frank Torres and Ill see you next time.