Neighboring churches concerned over soccer stadium traffic

- As the Orlando City Soccer Stadium gets ready to open to the public, some churches are concerned about traffic in the area. At a meeting on Tuesday night, around 60 people got together to ask Orlando City officials questions.

Joey Edwards of Shiloh Baptist Church says, "I think some of the members were concerned about the traffic conditions and they were also concerned about whether or not we would be able to maintain church services." Vinnie Kennedy of Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church says, "We're very concerned because we're one of the oldest black churches here in the downtown area been here over 130 years so we have great concerns about what's going on in our community."

The Orlando City Soccer Stadium seats more than 25,000 fans. With the kind of traffic those crowds might generate, the club says it's doing it's best to work with the community.

Orlando City General Manager Scott Neal says, "We're trying to minimize our request for road closures more for the safety with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the safety of our fans."

He also plans to encourage fans to park in lots downtown and shuttle over to the stadium.

On Tuesday, people from different churches and businesses around the stadium talked about their concerns. Neal says the club can always make changes as needed.

"We try to make the best plans and once it becomes live and people walking and everything transpires we're going to learn that things change and it doesn't always work like you plan.We're going to sit down and re-evaluate after game 3 or 4 and see what's working and what's not and make the necessary adjustments."

Many are excited, saying the stadium will score jobs and money for the community.

Kenneth Hughes of KBI Staffing says, "I think we're all concerned about traffic, but with more opportunity comes more traffic it's a great opportunity for our city to grow and become larger."

Vinnie says they'll wait and see, "A lot of things won't be answered until the first game and we're going to hold them accountable for what they're going to say they'll do in the community to help us."

The ribbon-cutting takes place on Friday and open house will be on Saturday.

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