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Soccer fans celebrate new downtown stadium

Construction is underway on a new downtown soccer stadium in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.

Hundreds – most dressed in purple – gathered Thursday for a groundbreaking that featured fireworks and festive music performed by local student marching bands.

Among the fans was Shannon Matheson of Orlando. She was there with her husband, mother and two children including her seven-month-old baby. All were dressed in purple.

Matheson says the family already has season tickets for the Orlando City Soccer Club’s debut season next year as a Major League Soccer team.

“We’re die-hard Magic fans. We’re die-hard Orlando fans. So we couldn’t be more excited to see another professional sports team in the area.”

The $110-million, 20,000-seat stadium is scheduled to be ready in time for the 2016 season.

It’s part of a downtown corridor of attractions that also will include a new performing arts center and renovated Citrus Bowl.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs says the stadium raises Central Florida’s profile.

“This changes who we are. This puts us on the international front. It is a serious part of our infrastructure that raises our quality of life and gives us an identity that is so rich and so international.”

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »