Orlando City draw 62,000 to Citrus Bowl, showing why they need new stadium, or something

Orlando City S.C. may want to increase the size of its new soccer stadium because the club just played its first ever MLS game, and sold 62,000 tickets for it. Because certainly 62,000 people turning up at the Citrus Bowl shows that you could never draw 62,000 fans if the team played at, say, the Citrus Bowl.

Team execs are saying the new stadium could go as high as 28,000 seats, which would be the largest MLS soccer-specific stadium, Fox 35 reports. If any of them said anything about increased cost or how it would be paid for, Fox 35 can’t be bothered to tell you that.

2 comments on “Orlando City draw 62,000 to Citrus Bowl, showing why they need new stadium, or something

  1. Sunday’s game wasn’t so much a game as it was a civic event and a festival rolled into one, in a city that has otherwise been starved of both for a number of years (well, outside of Disney, anyway…)

    Simple demographics suggest that a 28,000-seat soccer stadium in Orlando isn’t going to be sustainable. Teams in similar sized MLS towns — Vancouver, Portland, KC — are doing just fine in their 20k-capacity venues. Not only is Orlando way more transient than those towns, but our average income is way below what one can earn in those places, as well. Having only one pro team to compete against helps to some extent, but again, one could say the same about places like Portland, Vancouver, and even Columbus and Salt Lake.

    Once the afterglow of the opening day subsides, and once the proverbial new car smell does just the same, you’re not going to find 28,000 people in Orlando who will shell out money to see their team play against Philadelphia or San Jose in the flesh.

  2. (This isn’t even taking into account the fact that Orlando is a notoriously fair-weather sports town in the first place. As the Magic have found out during their entire existence in town, the fans will come as the wins do. OCSC appears to have an ambitious pair of owners who are willing to put their money where their mouths are, but they better make sure the on-field product can keep the fans rolling in, even in a more intimate 20,000-seater)