ORLANDO, Fla. — A Brazilian investor said he will provide $80 million to build a major league soccer stadium in Orlando, WFTV found out Monday.
The new stadium could be built just about a block from the Citrus Bowl, where Orlando City Soccer plays.
The official announcement will happen Monday during a news conference.
Flávio Augusto da Silva has agreed to put down the millions to pay a league fee and help build a new soccer stadium in downtown Orlando.
“A lot of people like soccer. So if they want to bring one, let them bring it,” said resident Elijah Moore.
WFTV found out it will cost $50 million for the Orlando City Soccer team to become part of Major League Soccer (MLS), and another $30 million would go towards building the stadium.
"Every year, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians visit Orlando," said Silva. "It's our number one destination in the U.S. and us Brazilians, besides being famous for our friendliness and willingness to buy at the outlets and malls; we are also a nation that loves soccer. More than that, we are a country of 200 million fanatics for soccer. It is a great honor that I now become a part of this vibrant soccer club, Orlando City, which is being built with boldness to make history in this country and will give much pride to this City."
That means taxpayers would be responsible for about $75 million more to finish the new facility designed specifically for soccer.
Negotiations are underway between the team, the city and county officials to build the new stadium near the Citrus Bowl that would hold about 18,000 fans.
Orlando native Graham Zusi, who plays for Sporting Kansas City, said Orlando City would be a good match for the league.
“Absolutely, it's a great organization and they've been doing very well in their league,” Zusi said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott came out in favor of Orlando’s MLS bid last week, stating, "I am very supportive and will do everything I can do at the state level."
An economic impact study determined that Major League Soccer in Orlando would generate $1.2 billion over three decades.