After two season openers for which Orlando City sold more than 60,000 tickets, it’s no surprise that the club has already sold out its allotment of 25,500 tickets for its opening match of 2017 — which went on sale to the public earlier today.
What is a bit more surprising is that the club also has sold out of single-game tickets for the LA Galaxy match on April 15, although fans who want to attend that match can still purchase a limited quantity of the club’s Five-Game Flex Pack.
The size of the club’s new downtown soccer showplace – which is obviously much smaller than the club’s former venue at Camping World Stadium (formerly the Citrus Bowl) – means that the Lions expect to sell out every match on the home schedule. Still, a streak has to start somewhere, and thus Orlando City’s streak of home sellouts in its new home begins.
City will have its smallest sellout since joining Major League Soccer. The club drew 60,147 fans in 2016 to see a thrilling 2-2 comeback draw against Real Salt Lake on March 6. Two seasons ago, the club began play in MLS with an equally exciting 1-1 comeback draw against New York City FC in front of a club record 62,510 purple-clad crazies.
The new stadium was originally imagined to hold 18,000, and designed to hold between 18,500 and 19,000 fans, but a redesign, at the time majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva decided to forego public funds and finance the venue privately, increased that number to 25,500 – about 7,000 fewer fans than Orlando City averaged in 2015 and roughly 6,000 fewer than in 2016.
Despite holding fewer fans that the team’s old stadium, the new building is expected to provide an exponentially better fan experience for soccer. Rather than a half-empty, cavernous stadium, the smaller venue will be filled to the top with an electric, pulsating crowd. The below-street-level playing surface and metal awnings over the stands will fill the stadium’s bowl with noise, making life difficult for opponents and urging the hosts on to victory.
Can’t wait to see the new palace — in all its purple glory — when it’s full.