ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don Garber spoke at length with the media on Sunday afternoon before Orlando City’s opening game at Orlando City Stadium. He addressed the one burning question that has been on the minds of Orlando soccer fans since the ground breaking of the stadium: Will the MLS All-Star game come to Orlando?
Garber faced it head-on. “We have made a commitment to bring the All-Star Game to Orlando. We just have to finalize the date.”
For fans who don’t know about the All-Star game, under the current format it is the best players of the MLS against one of the best teams from across the world. The 2017 game will be played on August 2nd at Chicago’s Solider Field.
Orlando City Stadium is the largest soccer-only stadium in the entire MLS. The capacity is over 25,000 and it had 25,527 people for its home opener on March 5th. It is also home to the National Women’s Soccer League’s Orlando Pride and United Soccer League’s Orlando City B.
Also during his meeting with the media, Garber went over a few key topics as well:
- He said that there was no new news concerning the Miami expansion situation. He stated that he has talked to David Beckham and his ownership group about the on-going stadium discussion, but so far there are no new plans on a new stadium in Miami
- He was very open to the idea of Saint Petersburg/Tampa becoming one of the next teams eligible for expansion. He acknowledged the potential stadium site and mentioned how impressed he was with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and their fan base
- He was extremely over-impressed by how much the Orlando team and its staff have grown the fan base in Orlando. “Orlando has over-delivered on its promise to MLS,” he said.
- He would announce the 2018 MLS All-Star game location in August during the 2017 MLS All-Star game. He also said that he would be announcing the 2017 opponent very soon and fans will be excited.
- As for now, even with talks of expansion in Florida, Garber is hoping that Orlando and Atlanta would start a rivalry.
Danny Thompson is a contributing sports reporter for Florida National News. He can also be found over at NBA Full Court Press Radio.