Lion Nation Spoke and Orlando City Listened!
Club will Privately Fund Stadium Construction, Increases Capacity to between 25,000 to 28,000, and Adds Enhanced Amenities
ORLANDO – May 29, 2015 – Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer today announced due to the overwhelming market response to Lions’ matches at home, Orlando City will increase capacity in the new stadium to accommodate between 25,000 and 28,000 fans, and will provide additional enhanced amenities for a premium fan experience.
In addition, the Club announced it will privately fund the entire downtown stadium construction, allowing the project to move forward immediately with an expected completion date of summer 2016. The City of Orlando has agreed to sell the property in Parramore designated as the site for the downtown soccer stadium to Orlando City Soccer Club, and the Club has agreed to develop the stadium. Orlando City SC will become the sole owners and operators of the venue.
“Orlando is an incredible market for professional soccer and attendance at our matches clearly demonstrates that demand,” said Majority Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva. “Before deciding to invest in Orlando City, I researched several markets around the country for professional soccer but Orlando became the ideal location because of the fan base and the city’s leadership. I believe in Mayor Dyer’s vision for the future of this great city, which is why we are investing even more into this project today. I am very excited for the future and very grateful for the wonderful partnership with Mayor Dyer and the City of Orlando.”
“Strong partnerships are the foundation of Central Florida’s success and today’s announcement with Orlando City is another win for our entire community, “said Mayor Dyer. “A new soccer stadium in Downtown Orlando brings significant economic impact not just to Orlando but the entire region. Another benefit for our City is, a privately owned stadium will generate property taxes that we can reinvest in our Parramore and Downtown neighborhoods.”
“We have repeatedly called Orlando the ‘Soccer Capital of the South’ and our fans continue to strengthen that reputation each and every week,” said President and Founder Phil Rawlins. “The incredible response from our fans and partners has led us to pursue a larger facility with enhanced amenities. We didn’t come here to be average, we came here to continually defy expectations and our vision for the new stadium will rank us among the top three clubs in MLS.
“Importantly, we remain committed to our neighbors in Parramore and our significant investment further validates that commitment,” Rawlins continued. “The new stadium will contribute to the economic growth of Parramore during construction and in its operation, and will be a point of pride for residents and fans alike.”
Through its first seven home games, nearly 250,000 fans have attended Lions’ matches at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, including over 52,000 from outside the state of Florida – which is roughly the equivalent of a major college bowl game every five weeks. These out-of-state fans inject new money to the local economy by staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping in stores and purchasing services.
Fans of Orlando City have traveled from 49 different states and 64 different countries to see the Lions play in person. In its inaugural season, Orlando City has the second highest average attendance in MLS, drawing 37,400 per game. Excluding the inaugural match which drew 62,510 people, the Lions still average 30,300 per match.
To purchase group or individual tickets, or to reserve a place on the Season Ticket wait-list for 2016, please visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.
Also, follow the latest Orlando City news and updates via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:
One of the leading teams in Major League Soccer (MLS), and the only MLS team in Florida, Orlando City Soccer Club has developed a rich history and passionate following in its short existence since starting in the USL in 2011. The Lions’ first team set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first 100 USL matches (66-12-22). During that time, the Lions won three regular season titles and two postseason championships.
In MLS, the team draws an average of over 37,400 fans per home game – including 62,500 for its home opener – a record for an expansion team in its first six stand-alone home games. In addition, the team is currently near the top of the league in social media followers. Orlando City has not only captured the passion of soccer fans in the City Beautiful, it continues to build its brand overseas as its matches are broadcast in 100 countries and in 30 languages.
Outside of the first squad, OCS C also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. Lastly, the Orlando City Foundation is active in the community year round, promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, and raising funds for and volunteering time for various local organizations.
For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com, www.OrlandoCityYouth.org and www.OrlandoCitySC.com/Foundation.