Orlando City SC club officials have every reason to feel optimistic today, as they now see the Orlando Citrus Bowl as half-full for their March 8 inaugural MLS match-up with New York City FC. Ticket sales have been described as "robust," as they have cleared the 30,000-sales mark.
This milestone is halfway to the club's #FillTheBowl target of 60,000 fans for the opener. The Citrus Bowl's capacity after recent renovations is just over 61,000.
Four seasons of lower division accomplishments, a long period of season-ticket only sales, a successful open practice, and a strong ongoing marketing campaign has built anticipation for the opening of individual game ticket sales, which began on Saturday. The signings of players such as Kaká and U.S. National Team player Brek Shea has undoubtedly brought more interest from new fans.
A cursory overview of the Ticketmaster website shows most of the lower bowl sold out and choice seats in the second tier going fast. The top level is not available at the time of this posting, but the team will open that level once the second tier is close to capacity, as they sell the stadium from bottom to top.
Orlando City President and Founder Phil Rawlins continues to be optimistic about what will prove to be a historic day for the club.
"Our fans, partners and communities continue to demonstrate why this is the 'Soccer Capital of the South,'" said Rawlins in a club press release. "We are more than halfway to our goal of #FillTheBowl with a month to go before our first kick. Soccer fever has engulfed the region and it will erupt, starting that first magical night and throughout this historic season. We hope everyone can be a part of it."
With 17 MLS regular-season home games and the club capping attendance at 20,000 for most of this season's matches, tickets are proving to be a hot commodity. Opening day is just under one month away.