Orlando City SC announced today that home matches at Exploria Stadium will be open to fans, albeit with limited capacity. An Orlando City spokesperson said that stadium capacity will fall in the 20-25% range depending on how groups of seats are laid out, with 25% being the maximum capacity. Parties within the stadium will be socially distanced everywhere, including in The Wall.
Fans will be required to adhere to social distancing and other rules, including the following:
- Fans will be required to properly wear a mask at all times while in the venue, except when consuming food or beverage while seated.
- At entry, guests will be temperature screened and must use one of many hand sanitizing stations located at each entrance.
- Fans must remain socially-distanced and with their own party.
- Players and coaches will be restricted from direct contact with fans through activities such as high-fives, autographs and photos.
- No bags (including clear bags) will be allowed in the stadium at this time to reduce security screening interactions.
- Failure to comply will result in removal from the venue.
Orlando City has stated that Exploria Stadium crew will sanitize and disinfect high-traffic areas regularly, with seats getting power washed and sanitized prior to each match. Signage throughout the stadium will help keep fans up to date on the stadium’s ‘new normal.’
Shopping and dining will be affected by the new rules, with the club making an effort to provide as much of the game experience as possible while trying to keep fans safe.
*In an effort to reduce lines and maintain social distancing, the club will begin the schedule with all regular food and beverage locations open throughout the match.
*Stands on each side of the stadium will offer the same menu options to limit the need for fans to walk around the venue.
*Beverages will be served in cans and bottles only. No open-container beverages (e.g. draft beer) will be served at this time.
*Fans can also take advantage of convenient, in-seat ordering from their mobile devices that will allow for pickup at a selected concession stand.
*All transactions will be cashless in order to reduce potential points of contact.
The merchandise shop will be open. It too will have its own set of rules and offer contact-free checkout. Fans can also purchase hand sanitizer and masks. Here’s what else you need to know:
*Fans will still have the opportunity to purchase merchandise in The Den or additional stores located in the concourse.
*All stores will be converted to one-way traffic, with guests maintaining custody of items throughout the transaction process.
*The club will still offer jersey customization and CITYiD pressing. Fans will be able to order customization at any operating concourse store location to limit the need for fans to walk around the venue.
*To limit the need to go in-store, fans can also utilize OCMobileShop.com to order items online and pick-up at a convenient location in the concourse.
It will be interesting to see how things go with regard to having fans in the stadium and how well behaved they are when it comes to the new rules put in place. If it can be done safely and if people are following the established guidelines, it would certainly benefit the Lions to have their supporters in the stadium.