According to a report from ProSoccerUSA’s Jordan Culver and Alicia DelGallo, citing multiple league sources, Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game is coming to Orlando City Stadium in 2019. The event, which is held in Atlanta this year and will take place tonight, draws major attention to the league. It’s also something that the league promised Orlando City back in 2015.
Holding next year’s All-Star event in Orlando makes good on a contractual promise the league made to Orlando City when the club joined MLS in 2015. Orlando City officials always said a top priority after building a new stadium was to host the annual game. When Orlando City Stadium opened at the beginning of the 2017 season, MLS commissioner Don Garber reiterated the league’s pledge to bring an All-Star Game to the city.
According to the report by ProSoccerUSA, the wheels were set in motion last year by the Central Florida Sports Commission.
The Central Florida Sports Commission submitted a bid to host the event last year, and previously estimated it would cost $350,000 in operational expenses. Last summer, government leaders considered a request to use tourist tax money to offset the cost.
Orlando City Stadium has already hosted numerous significant soccer events since opening in March of 2017, including the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, the 2017 NWSL championship, the 2017 NCAA Women’s College Cup, and last October’s USMNT World Cup qualifier against Panama. These events were successful and brought some attention to how well the city of Orlando embraces soccer. The city of Orlando has also made efforts to be a host city for the 2026 World Cup which is being hosted by the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
All-Star Week will likely remain a five-day event, including concerts, meetings, press events, activities to benefit the community, and other events, such as the MLS Homegrown Game.
This is great news the city and Orlando City fans, as the entire MLS community will have its eyes on central Florida in 2019. The news has not yet been announced by MLS, so obviously an opponent and a date have not been announced.