Opportunity for Soccer in Florida About Soccer About MLS Soccer

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1 Opportunity for Soccer in Florida Major League Soccer (MLS) is the highest level of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. The league is comprised of 19 teams, with none currently in the southeastern United States. MLS is poised to overtake the NHL as the 4th most popular professional sports league. MLS has already eclipsed both the NBA and the NHL in terms of average attendance at games. Due to the rapid growth in soccer s popularity, MLS has publically announced interest in locating possibly two expansion teams in the Sunshine State. MLS s possible expansion into Florida will depend on the selected city or cities being able to build soccer-specific stadiums for their expansion team. Additionally, cities including New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Minneapolis are also being discussed as possible expansion locations. About Soccer Soccer is the #1 participation sport in the U.S. (24 million young athletes) [1] Soccer is the 2nd most popular pro sport for those ages 12-24, beating out NBA, MLB, NHL and college football. [2] 30% of households in the U.S. contain someone who plays soccer. [3] Most favored sport of Hispanics. *References: [1] FIFA Big Count, [2] ESPN Sports Poll 2012, [3] ESPN About MLS Soccer Professional soccer league that represents the sport s highest level in the U.S. and Canada. Fastest growing sport in U.S. There are 19 teams in the league with each team playing 34 games per regular season (March to December). Each team has 30 eligible players with 18 selected to play on game-day. Affordable average ticket prices. Games are family-friendly. MLS ranks 3rd in average attendance in U.S. professional sports (ahead of NBA and NHL). There are currently no MLS teams in the Southeastern U.S. Matches are broadcast to more than 100 countries. An average of 18,807 fans attended each of the league s 2012 games, up from an average of 17,844 fans per game in

2 Orlando as a Location for Major League Soccer Since joining the Orlando community just more than two years ago, United Soccer League s Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) has capitalized on Orlando s thirst for top-class pro sports and has proven soccer can attract significant crowds. OCSC currently has the highest attendance of any U.S. soccer franchise outside of MLS. Because MLS would be a perfect fit for Central Florida, Orlando has put together a financing plan to bring MLS to our community. Construction of a Soccer-specific Stadium in Orlando Major League Soccer s possible expansion into Florida will depend on the selected city or cities being able to build soccer-specific stadiums for their expansion team. The multi-purpose venue would have estimated seating capacity of 20,000 and would include 25 luxury suites, 1,000 premium club seats and a multitude of other venue specific features. Construction costs are estimated to be $96 million. The multi-purpose venue would be a community asset with the ability to host the MLS franchise as well as other local sports events, concerns, related conventions and opportunities that are not able to be hosted in current Orlando facilities. Proposed Financing Plan The financing of a new soccer, multi-use stadium would be a public-private partnership between the team, the City of Orlando, Orange County and the State of Florida. Including the purchase of land a new stadium is expected to cost $110 million dollars. The funding plan is expected to break down as follows: $30 million from the Orlando City Soccer team $50 million from local governments to include the purchase of land With these financial commitments, this leaves a $30 million gap. If the State legislature approves legislation that would allow for the expansion of the Sales Tax Rebate to expand to include ten professional sports franchises and an MLS team, this rebate amount would generate $30 million from the State of Florida. Legislation Current Law State law currently provides a sales tax rebate of $2,000,000 per year over 30 years to help fund the construction of professional sport stadiums. Eight facilities across Florida are currently receiving the rebate, including SunLife Stadium in Miami, EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Under the current statute, only 8 facilities may receive the rebate and only for facilities hosting professional teams in the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA or the NHL. Proposed Bill The proposed bill will: Add Major League Soccer to the list of major professional sports leagues eligible for the rebate. Add 2 additional certifications to the existing 8 and reserve the new slots for Major League Soccer facilities. Clarifies existing legislation to allow local governments to serve as the certification applicant for only one facility per professional sports league. Benefits A new MLS franchise in Orlando would generate nearly $1.2 billion in new direct spending over the next 30 years including the construction of a stadium, which alone would generate nearly 1,000 jobs. With the international appeal of soccer, an MLS team would increase international media exposure and awareness in key tourism markets for the state, including Europe and South America. 2

3 Brazil s Impact on Soccer and Florida Brazilians already have a large presence as visitors in Orlando. General Brazilian visitor facts** Brazilians follow their favorite teams and players. 20,000+ Brazilian fans of the Brazilian Corinthians Club soccer team traveled to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup Final. Orlando is the top destination in the U.S. for Brazilian travelers. Average stay: 9 days. Average spend per traveler: $1,800. Primary reason for coming: Entertainment. In conjunction with World Cup 2014 in Rio, a MLS franchise in Orlando offers MLS a prime opportunity for exposure in South America. Also opens up marketing opportunities for Orlando in Brazil/South America. Opportunity: In 2011, Brazil was the top feeder market for tourists into Miami, bringing 634,000 visitors. Should Orlando divert 10% of those visitors due to the interest in soccer, that would bring an estimated 63,400 new visitors to Orlando. At $1,800 per traveler, that would equate to $114,120,000 in incremental spending. The possibility of placing Brazilian soccer stars on an Orlando team A single soccer superstar has the ability to put a franchise on the map (i.e. Beckham- LA Galaxy). One marquis player can serve as a door opener to deliver significant economic growth between Brazil and Orlando, for example Kaka. Kaka Social Media following: Facebook: 18m likes Twitter: 12.5m followers Instagram: 328k followers A top Brazilian player in Orlando could potentially serve as a door-opener, open up new communication channels and attract significant fan and media awareness in key international markets beyond Brazil. The possibility of hosting Brazilian teams to play in Orlando** Brazilian fans are used to following their football heroes remotely. The Brazilian National team regularly plays home games outside of Brazil and generally attracts sell-out crowds and huge TV audiences. Provides greater opportunity for international events at renovated Citrus Bowl Brazilian supporters are willing and used to travel to support their teams abroad for relevant competitions. Up to 20,000 Corinthian fans traveled to Tokyo for the FIFA Club World Cup Finals. They spent up to $200,000,000 during their stay. Corinthians traveled to the Copa Libertadores Final, many without tickets beforehand, willing to pay up to $1,000 for tickets at the site. Games with Brazilian teams in Orlando could potentially draw crowds in excess of 20,000, creating media awareness and incremental tourist spending. Also provides opportunity for increased utilization of renovated Citrus Bowl. **2012 Octagon Worldwide 3

4 Economic impact of having an MLS team in Orlando* A new MLS franchise in Orlando would generate nearly $1.2 billion in new direct spending over the next 30 years. This includes the construction of a new stadium, which alone would generate nearly 1,000 jobs. Average attendance triples when a team transitions from the USL to MLS. 30-year gross spending projection: $1,271 billion. Orange County Economic Impact. Construction 30 Year Ongoing Operations Local Spending $68.8 million- 71% $1,045 billion- $82% New Direct Spending $68.8 million $463 million Employment (Jobs) Tax Revenue $5.5 million $28.8 million *2012 Economic Impact Study- CS&L Opportunity for Orlando to host new events A new soccer-specific stadium would also provide an opportunity to host events in which current facilities would not qualify: EVENT ECONOMIC ROOM PARTICI- IMPACT NIGHTS PANTS Various IRB & USA Rugby Championships Various Action Sports Events FHSAA State Boys/Girls Soccer Finals $ 450, ECAC Lacrosse League Championship $ 600, NCAA Division II & III Women's LAX Championships $ 1,050, , Drum Corps Associates World Championships $ 10,000, ,600 3,000 ACC Women's Soccer Championship $ 890, , SEC Women's Soccer Tournament $ 1,110, , Big East Men's Soccer Tournament $ 1,110, , USBands National Marching Band Championship $ 12,300, ,000 5,000 NCAA Women's College Cup $ 1,200, , NCAA Men's College Cup $ 1,200, , Projected Totals $ 29,910, ,700 10,002 *Central Florida Sports Commission- factored using Visit Florida industry standards. Many of these events, offset typically-low tourism months (September to November) Estimated economic impact: $25,410,000 (September to November) Estimated room nights: 17,800 (September to November) 4

5 Frequently Asked Questions What is the status of the other Community Venue projects? The public dollars are committed to both the Citrus Bowl and Performing Arts Center projects. The Citrus Bowl is currently putting the construction team in place and working on schematic designs. Early construction work will begin late in 2013 with demolition of the lower seating bowls to begin in January The 1 st stage of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is under construction with an open date of The public dollars for the 2 nd stage are already committed and once the private philanthropic dollars are raised Stage 2 construction can commence. Why not just use the Citrus Bowl to house an MLS team? There are a number of cities being considered for expansion by MLS. The MLS Commissioner has said they will only expand to a community that has a soccer-specific stadium. This is their proven business model. What does a soccer-specific stadium mean? In order to a stadium to accommodate Major League Soccer the stadium must include a roof over the fans, but not the field and be approximately 18,000 seats. This keeps the noise inside the stadium creating a more exciting atmosphere. This is also more advantageous here in Florida due to our weather. However, this does not mean other events can t be held at this stadium. In fact, if Orlando were to build a new stadium it would hold other events like lacrosse, rugby and band championships. During the re-construction of the Citrus Bowl, why not just add in a roof? During the design phase of the Citrus Bowl reconstruction, the architects evaluated the option of adding a roof over a section of the stands it was determine the cost would be the same if not more as building a new stadium suitable for soccer. The Seattle MLS Team Plays in a Football Stadium? The Seattle stadium when constructed was designed for both football and soccer with the roof overhang as part of the original design. This stadium cost $360 million to construct. During the design phase of the Citrus Bowl reconstruction, the architects evaluated the option of adding a roof over a section of the stands it was determine the cost would be the same if not more as building a new stadium suitable for soccer. Why is it important to pursue MLS now? The MLS Commissioner has said they want to expand by two teams this year. Currently, there are not any MLS teams in the southeast part of the country. Orlando is currently a top city being considered but other markets including Miami, Atlanta and others are also pursuing MLS teams. MLS is expected to make a decision on the expansion cities this summer. After that it will be uncertain when the MLS will expand again. 5

6 One of the requirements for a city to be considered for an MLS expansion team is that a funding plan for a new soccer-specific stadium be in place. Currently, there is state legislation filed that would fund $30 million toward a new soccer stadium through a sales tax rebate. The Governor along with Senate and House leadership are all supportive of this bill. The State funding is a key source that would reduce the amount of funding required from the local government. 6

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