I will not be silent on this.
Yesterday, it was revealed that Angel de la Portilla, on behalf of Harris Rosen, took a position that the top priority for TDT funding should be the Convention Center, and that no “baseline” TDT funds should go to Orlando City’s new downtown stadium.
This comes after speaking in March in favor of using TDT funding for Orlando City’s new downtown stadium on WMFE radio.
In other words, Harris Rosen is prepared to stab us in the back.
Need I remind Mr. Rosen that Orlando City has provided lots of support to the Orlando community?
In their short history, Orlando City has done many charitable works, supporting efforts both here and in the communities of our players. Particularly Haiti, from which one current and another former player reside.
I am reminded of 2007, when Mr. Rosen extorted the Orlando Magic to do things for Parramore and other “disadvantaged” communities in Orlando in exchange for giving his support to using TDT money for Downtown Master Plan 3. (Link is to a Magic website that copied the original Orlando Sentinel article, which has timed out from their website.)
Mr. Rosen was willing to sell his “principles” in exchange for a backscratch before. Now he wants to deny us the figurative equivalent of the loose change between the couch cushions. (Orlando City needs less than 10% of what the Magic got.) And he says this after being two-faced about his “support” previously.
What? Did you want to twist our arms first, Mr. Rosen? Were you sore that we didn’t need to be shamed into supporting your surrogate community?
Mr. Rosen, we are not asking for much. A little help from Orange County, which amounts now to about 25% of the total cost (with the team paying for more than half), is all we need. We did not ask for more from the County when the State sat on the contribution we asked them for. The team believes they are worthy of the recognition that such support would symbolize. And its fans universally agree.
As I have pointed out time and time again here, our venue would provide host for a wide array of smaller field events. Not just the Major League Soccer regular season and possible playoffs, but the MLS All-Star Game, rugby events, a return of extreme sports (like bringing back the Dew Tour, or even attracting the X Games now that they’ve hit the road) and outdoor music events.
All we ask for is your support. There is plenty of money for the Convention Center. And our team can also help keep your hotels occupied.