The Orlando City Soccer Club made official Thursday that it will take over Osceola County Stadium, ending the county’s 35-year affiliation with professional baseball.

The club, which had already moved its youth academy program from Montverde to the Houston Astros’ former minor-league building and back fields, will move its minor league affiliate, the USL Orlando City B, into the ballpark for the 2020 League One season, after it undergoes a full redevelopment to become a soccer-specific stadium.

The move had been rumored and talked about much of the summer and fall; Orlando City has already replaced two of five back baseball fields with soccer fields, is working on a third for an artificial turf surface, and has its youth academy working out on the remaining two fields in the outfield.


Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão said the acquisition of the stadium makes it possible for the club to have all of its men’s teams practicing or playing at one site — the Major League Soccer team, while still playing at Exploria Stadium near downtown Orlando, will train right here at Osceola Heritage Park.


“The addition of Osceola County Stadium is another major step in the growth and expansion of our Club infrastructure,” he said. “Not only will the stadium provide a new  home field for Orlando City B, but it will complete the move in having our entire men’s development structure at one location; a location that all players — from our Development Academy to USL League One to the First Team — will call home. We are extremely excited to expand our training complex and to reinforce our commitment with a high-class soccer infrastructure for our players, staff and fans.”
Osceola Heritage Park General Manager Robb Larson said the arrival of Orlando City B and its slate of USL league games is “very exciting.”

This, in addition to the previously announced training complex, marks another milestone in our growth as we welcome the world of soccer to our facility,” he said.


OCB’s new home field will become a Latitude 36 Bermudagrass surface, the same playing surface as Exploria Stadium, the back  training fields at Osceola Heritage Park and the NWSL Orlando Pride’s soon-to-be training facility at Sylvan Lake Park.

If the surface needs to be completely replaced, it will be the second time in two years for that. Osceola County replaced the baseball playing surface ahead of the 2019 Florida Fire Frogs season to address persistent drainage issues.


Orlando City’s OHP training complex will eventually feature four fields — three natural grass and one artificial turf — a fitness, training and recovery center; a players’ lounge; meal room and a film room.

Osceola County Stadium was built in 1984 for $5 million, and welcomed the Houston Astros’ in 1985 for spring training. They called Kissimmee their home for their Florida operations until 2016, when they moved to a new facility built in Palm Beach County. The Osceola Astros, later called the Kissimmee Cobras, played in the Florida State League from 1985-2000. The Fire Frogs, the Atlanta Braves’ high Class A team, played three seasons in the stadium, with their 1-0 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays on Aug. 25 serving as the final pro baseball game at the complex.