As a follow-up to my reference to The Guardian yesterday, The Scoring Third released a summary of their latest discussion with Phil Rawlins, focusing on the prospect of constructing a soccer-specific stadium (SSS).
Rawlins could not get into discussions regarding potential locations, but has NDA’s with city and county regarding negotiations for a stadium. He did pretty much rule out the Creative Village and UCF as possible locations.
He estimates a stadium with an 18,000-seat capacity, expandable to 24,000, could be built here for $80-90 million. For reference, Bright House Networks Stadium, which seats 48,000, cost $50 million to build, at the height of the real estate bubble (which inflated materials costs as well as real estate). He cited San Jose and Houston as examples of cost-effective SSS construction. San Jose’s stadium will only cost $60 million.
Rawlins still would like to get a team to start playing in MLS in 2014, and is targeting 2015 to 2016 for the opening of an SSS. While it is ruled out as a permanent solution, the Citrus Bowl could still host an MLS team temporarily while an SSS is built.
The 100s bowl, for the record, has a total capacity of over 16,700, not including the temporary north end seating used for bowl games. Orlando City does not use the oblique corner seats in the open north end, giving them a current useful capacity just under 15,000.