Yes, in a stunning display of forward thinking, our own Orange County Commission actually approved a $1.1 billion plan Thursday night for a new arena, performing arts center, and major renovations to the existing Citrus Bowl. Through the efforts of both the Orange County Mayor and the City of Orlando Mayor, Republicans and Democrats, sports fans and arts patrons, and even the tourist industry, the agreement will pay for these venues through a combination of tourist taxes, downtown property taxes, and private donations. Most importantly though, Central Florida citizens will not see their taxes increase to foot the bill for this stuff, yet the profound benefit to us locals will be huge–finally.
These will be state-of-the-art, “green” facilities, and it’s hard not to get excited about the increased potential for major sporting, entertainment, and cultural events in the years to come. And of course, the Orlando Magic won’t be going anywhere–KC and Oklahoma City are gonna have to find their own team. Good or bad, crooked ref(s) and all, they’re all we have in pro sports and I’m happy they’re here to stay. Way to go city and county commissioners–I think you got it right this time.