Protesters against proposed Orlando soccer stadium

By Erik Sandoval, Reporter, esandoval@wkmg.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 11:02:30 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 08:03:28 PM EDT
Soccer

Elizabeth Johnson/CNN

ORLANDO, Fla. -

While the City of Orlando pushes forward with plans to build a new stadium that would house a major league soccer team near downtown, a bipartisan group is urging Orange County to not participate.

Lawanna Gelzer is straight up about why she doesn't want another arena.

"How much can one community be studied and promises of jobs made?" she asked.  "But actually, when you look at the community, it's not true."

She and this bipartisan group showed up at the Orange County Commissioner's meeting protesting a multi-million dollar plan to convert an empty block of land in Orlando's Paramore area to a state of the art stadium that a major league soccer team could call home.  It's just blocks away from the Amway Center.

Under the plan, the stadium would come from three sources:  $30 million would be paid for by the team, the City of Orlando is ready to pay $20 million.

Now, County Mayor Theresa Jacobs is suggesting $20 million in county taxpayer money -- something she's willing to talk about, but only when it's on the commissioners' agenda, which today, it wasn't.

"There's an appropriate time to have this conversation," she told Local 6. "We'll have a public hearing, and today's not that day."

But push came to shove, and the demonstrators got their moment.

"If that's not corporate welfare, i don't know what is," Gelzer was able to tell the entire commission.  "We need to stop corporate welfare.  Thank you."

Jacobs said the issue will eventually be on the agenda, and judging from the passion these people had -- she's sure to get an earful.

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