Exploria Stadium

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Exploria Stadium
Exploria Stadium.jpg
Orlando City Stadium (04-21-18) 1.jpg
Orlando City SC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes, April 21, 2018
Exploria Stadium is located in Florida
Exploria Stadium
Exploria Stadium
Location in Florida
Exploria Stadium is located in the United States
Exploria Stadium
Exploria Stadium
Location in the United States
Former namesOrlando City Stadium (2017–2019)
Location655 West Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32805[3][1]
Coordinates28°32′28″N 81°23′21″W / 28.5411°N 81.3893°W / 28.5411; -81.3893Coordinates: 28°32′28″N 81°23′21″W / 28.5411°N 81.3893°W / 28.5411; -81.3893[1][2]
Public transitLocal Transit SunRail Church Street Station
Local Transit Lynx 21, 319
Local Transit Lynx Grapefruit Line
OwnerOrlando City SC
OperatorOrlando City SC
Executive suites31[4]
Capacity25,500[5]
Field size120 yd × 75 yd (110 m × 69 m)[6]
Acreage10
SurfaceGrass
ScoreboardPanasonic[7]
Construction
Broke groundOctober 16, 2014[8][9]
OpenedFebruary 24, 2017 (2017-02-24)[14][15][16]
Construction cost$155 million[10]
ArchitectPopulous[11]
Project managerICON Venue Group[12]
Structural engineerWalter P Moore[13]
Services engineerM–E Engineers, Inc.[13]
General contractorBarton Malow[12]
Tenants
Orlando City SC (MLS) (2017–present)
Orlando Pride (NWSL) (2017–present)
Orlando City B (USL) (2017)
Florida Cup (2018–present)
MLS Combine (2018–present)
Cure Bowl (NCAA) (2019–present)

Exploria Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Orlando, Florida. It is the home of Orlando City SC, which entered Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion franchise in 2015, and their National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) sister club, the Orlando Pride. The stadium was completed in time for Orlando City's home opener of the 2017 season on March 5 and it became the first ever venue to permanently host MLS, NWSL, and USL teams all in the same location that year.[17]

As well as home matches for Orlando City, Orlando Pride, Exploria Stadium has also been used as a host venue for both the United States men's and women's national teams, the finals for both the NWSL Championship and NCAA Women's College Cup, numerous Florida Cup games and the MLS Combine in 2018 and 2019. The stadium is also set to host the 2019 MLS All-Star game and the non-soccer Cure Bowl college football game. On June 4, 2019, it was announced that Exploria Resorts had acquired the naming rights to the stadium.[18]

The stadium is located along West Church Street in the Parramore neighborhood west of Downtown Orlando.

History[edit]

In April 2013, the City of Orlando purchased downtown land for $8.2 million to be used towards the construction of a $110 million MLS soccer stadium.[19] However, in May, the Florida House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill that had passed the Senate that would have provided up to $30 million in state funds towards the stadium project. Orlando City SC President Phil Rawlins responded by expressing his intent to find alternative funding and keep seeking MLS expansion.[20]

The Orlando downtown soccer stadium moved closer to securing funding on August 8, 2013, when Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer reached an agreement on a deal to provide financial support for a variety of Orlando projects including the new MLS soccer stadium.[21] The last piece in stadium funding was an October 2013 vote on using an existing tourism tax to fund the final quarter of the $80 million stadium project.[22] On October 22, 2013, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 5–2 to approve the use of $20 million in tourist development tax funds to build an $84 million multi-purpose soccer stadium in downtown Orlando.[23]

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on December 11, 2013, that the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Women's College Soccer Championship would be held at the new stadium.[24][25]

On August 4, 2014, the team announced that the stadium location would be moved one block west, to avoid having a delay to the opening day, due to Faith Deliverance Temple fighting the city's eminent-domain claim. The new location resulted in the closure of Parramore Avenue between Church Street and Central Boulevard in February 2015,[26] as the stadium was built right on top of where the road currently runs.[1][2]

The club played their 2015 MLS inaugural season home matches at Citrus Bowl.[27] On January 13, 2016, club president Phil Rawlins announced that construction of the team's stadium was taking four months longer than expected and that the team would remain at the Citrus Bowl (since renamed Camping World Stadium)for the 2016 season.[28]

On March 5, 2017, Orlando City began the 2017 season by hosting New York City FC in the stadium's inaugural match. Cyle Larin scored the first goal in stadium history as Orlando won 1–0 in front of a sellout crowd of 25,550.[29]

Financing[edit]

Orlando City SC's owners announced on May 29, 2015, that the stadium would be privately funded by Orlando City SC and not the city. They also announced they would upgrade the stadium's capacity from 19,000 seats, to somewhere between 25,000 and 28,000 seats. The new plan was unveiled on July 31, increasing capacity to 25,500 by adding seats to the south end to maximize seats without major design changes that would set back the project by an additional year. Costs also rose from $110 million to $155 million.[30]

As part of the private funding venture for the new stadium, at least $15 million has come from 30 foreign investors in countries such as Brazil and China via the EB-5 investment program, which grants American visas in exchange for a $500,000 investment in the project.[31]

More foreign investors looking to obtain green cards through the EB-5 program are joining this project, which has already created around 1000 jobs and is expected to create around 1000 more in an area that much needed its economic growth.[citation needed] This project is still open and more information can be obtained by contacting the American Regional Center Group.[citation needed]

Design[edit]

The team released artistic renderings of the stadium on December 11, 2012.[32] On September 30, 2013, the architectural firm Woods Bagot released their drawings of the stadium on their website. The team announced that these drawings were released without their knowledge or input, and that they had not selected an architect yet. Woods Bagot proceed to remove the images from their website.[33] The design phase began on January 7, 2014, when Mayor Buddy Dyer and some of the Orlando City SC staff traveled to Kansas City to begin working with the design firm Populous.[11]

The original renderings of the stadium proposed 18,000 seats, including 2,500 club seats. It would also have 300 seats in specialty suites. The stadium's square footage is about 290,000 square feet, with 120,000 square feet devoted to the bowl. It is also supposedly going to have bars, retail shops, and restaurants.[34]

Additional renderings and information about the stadium were released on June 10, 2014. The stadium has an open plaza, where those passing by can see inside, since the field is 8 feet below street level.[35] It was initially planned to have a seating capacity of 19,500, with the structural ability to expand to 25,000 in the future. This was changed in May 2015 to simply building room for 25,000 in the initial construction, rather than waiting for another construction period.[36] The field is grass, with canopies over fans to protect them from the elements and to increase noise levels. A four times life size lion sculpture was planned to overlook the entrance.[5] Just before a game began, the lion would rotate 180° to "watch" the action. A festival plaza lined with palm trees on the south end of the plaza, just outside the main entrance at Church Street and Terry Avenue was built (the streets are closed to vehicles during events). A balcony-style bar just below the video scoreboard with a 360° view was planned as well. A seating section on the north end is dedicated to members of supporters' clubs. As proposed — and if building codes allow — it has no seats, but rails and extra room for "safe standing". The 3,811-capacity section, known as "The Wall" began as a small but ardent collection of fans from the two main supporter groups, The Ruckus and Iron Lion Firm.[37] The supporters' section would also have its own "pub-style" area.[4][38]

Aerial view of Orlando City Soccer Stadium
Aerial view of Exploria Stadium

Heineken announced a partnership with multiple MLS teams on November 12, 2014, including Orlando City, making Heineken the official beer of the team as well as giving Heineken naming rights to the ground level bar on the south side of the stadium. In addition to the announcement, a new rendering of the south side from inside the stadium was released.[39]

Panasonic was announced as the team's "Official Technology Partner" on December 17, 2014, in exchange for Panasonic providing on-field and fascia LED boards, the main scoreboard on the south end of the field, and dozens of flat panel television screens throughout the stadium in suites, offices and work areas. In addition, Panasonic provides technology solutions such as security cameras, control room and other key components for the new stadium.[7]

The stadium includes 49 rainbow-colored seats in Section 12 as a memorial that honors the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.[40][41]

International matches[edit]

Men's matches[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
October 6, 2017[42]  United States 4–0  Panama 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fifth Round 25,303
March 21, 2019  United States 1–0  Ecuador International Friendly 17,442

Women's matches[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
March 7, 2018[43]  France 3–0  Germany 2018 SheBelieves Cup 6,525
March 7, 2018[44]  United States 1–0  England 2018 SheBelieves Cup 12,351

Other notable matches[edit]

Florida Cup[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
January 10, 2018 Brazil Corinthians 1–1 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 2018 Florida Cup
January 11, 2018 Brazil Atlético Mineiro 0–1 Scotland Rangers
January 10, 2019 Netherlands Ajax 2–2 Brazil Flamengo 2019 Florida Cup
Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 2–1 Brazil São Paulo
January 12, 2019 Brazil São Paulo 2–4 Netherlands Ajax
Brazil Flamengo 1–0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt

Friendlies[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
June 28, 2019[45] Mexico Pachuca 1–2 Colombia Independiente Medellín Friendly

MLS All-Stars[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
July 31, 2019 United States MLS All-Stars Spain Atlético Madrid[46] 2019 MLS All-Star Game

NCAA[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
December 3, 2017 United States Stanford 3–2 United States UCLA 2017 NCAA Women's College Cup Final 1,938

NWSL[edit]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
October 14, 2017 United States North Carolina Courage 0–1 United States Portland Thorns FC 2017 NWSL Championship 8,124

Other events[edit]

Football[edit]

In May 2019, Cure Bowl officials announced the college football game would be moved to Exploria Stadium from Camping World Stadium. It will be the stadium's first non-soccer event.[47]

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Competition Attendance
December 21, 2019 TBD TBD 2019 Cure Bowl
Exploria Stadium.
Overview of Exploria Stadium.
Night game at Exploria Stadium.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Orlando City Soccer announces new stadium location". WOFL. Orlando. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wiebe, Andrew. "Orlando City SC shift soccer-specific stadium site one block west as city drops eminent-domain claim". MLSsoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  3. ^ Wiebe, Andrew (November 20, 2013). "Orlando City President Expects New Stadium to Have "Most Intense Atmosphere in the Whole of MLS"". Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Orlando City Launches Public On-Sale for 2016 Season Tickets; Provides Update on Downtown Stadium". July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "New Stadium". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  6. ^ de los Rios, Gabriel; Calderon, Rudy (March 2, 2017). "All 22 MLS stadiums for the 2017 season". Major League Soccer. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Orlando City SC Forms Multi-year Partnership with Panasonic". OrlandoCitySC.com. Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  8. ^ "Orlando City Stadium Groundbreaking Set For October 16". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "Your City Your Stadium: Update on Proposed Stadium Opening". Orlando City Soccer Club. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Tenorio, Paul (July 31, 2015). "Orlando City reveals new design of $155 million, 25,500-seat stadium". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Schlueb, Mark (January 7, 2014). "Architects, Dyer and Lions to Brainstorm Ideas for MLS Stadium Design". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Populous, Barton Malow and ICON Venue Group Announced as Core Members for New Downtown Stadium Project". Orlando City Soccer Clube. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Burney, Teresa (June 26, 2015). "New Orlando City Soccer Stadium Bidding Delayed". Growth Spotter. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Kelly, Jason (February 24, 2017). "Orlando City Soccer Club unveils new Parramore stadium". WFTV. Orlando. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  15. ^ DelGallo, Alicia. "Orlando City to hold ribbon-cutting, tours at new stadium". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  16. ^ DelGallo, Alicia. "Orlando City Stadium ribbon-cutting focuses on Parramore community". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  17. ^ "Orlando City B To Play 2017 USL Season in New Downtown Soccer Stadium". Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Orlando City SC Announces Central Florida-Based Exploria Resorts as Stadium Naming Rights Partner". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "Dyer Opens Up About Land Purchase for New MLS Stadium". WFTV. Orlando. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "Orlando City Determined to Join MLS Despite Legislation Impasse in Florida House". Major League Soccer. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  21. ^ Kennedy, Paul (August 9, 2013). "Mayors Line Up Behind Orlando Stadium Deal". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Straus, Brian (September 13, 2013). "MLS Expansion Team Likely Heading Atlanta's Way". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  23. ^ Schlueb, Mark; Damron, David (October 22, 2013). "'We Are Going MLS!' Pro Soccer Stadium Is Coming to Orlando". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  24. ^ "2014–18 NCAA Championship Sites". NCAA.com. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "Women's College Cup returning to Cary, North Carolina in 2016". NCAA.com.
  26. ^ Hudak, Stephen (February 9, 2015). "Part of Parramore Avenue to close for soccer stadium". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  27. ^ "Orlando City SC Launches Season Ticket Deposit Campaign for Inaugural MLS Season". Orlando City SC. May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  28. ^ "Orlando City delays debut of new downtown stadium until 2017". Orlando Sentinel. January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  29. ^ "Lions Capture Clean Sheet Victory in Orlando City Stadium Debut". March 6, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  30. ^ Tenorio, Paul (July 31, 2015). "Orlando City unveils plans for new $155 million, 25,500-seat soccer stadium". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  31. ^ Belson, Ken (May 16, 2016). "Price for a Green Card: $500,000 Stadium Stake". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  32. ^ Bilbao, Richard (December 12, 2012). "Orlando City Soccer Talks More About Future Stadium". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  33. ^ Savino, Christopher (September 30, 2013). "UPDATE: Woods Bagot Releases Renderings of Proposed Orlando City SC Stadium". Business of Soccer. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  34. ^ "Details Released on New Orlando Soccer Stadium". WFTV. Orlando. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  35. ^ "General Info". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  36. ^ Tenorio, Paul (May 29, 2015). "Orlando City to privately finance soccer stadium, pay back city". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  37. ^ "The Wall Effect: How Orlando's Supporters' Section Gives The Lions a Leg Up". Orlando City Soccer Club. April 12, 2017.
  38. ^ "Orlando City SC release renderings of new downtown stadium to be completed in 2016". Major League Soccer. June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  39. ^ "Orlando City SC Joins Heineken Roster". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  40. ^ "Orlando City Dedicates June 18 Match to #OrlandoUnited". orlandocitysc.com. Orlando City SC. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  41. ^ "Orlando City SC stadium honors Pulse shooting victims". Sports Illustrated.
  42. ^ Wahl, Grant (October 7, 2017). "USA stars point to stout planning to cure WCQ woes". Sports Illustrated.
  43. ^ VAVEL.com (March 8, 2018). "France dominates Germany 3-0 in SheBelieves Cup". VAVEL. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  44. ^ "USA claims SheBelieves Cup with 1-0 win vs. England". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  45. ^ "Bienvenidos al sitio Oficial del Club de Futbol Pachuca". Tuzos (in Spanish).
  46. ^ Culver, Jordan; USA, Pro Soccer (May 2, 2019). "Atlético Madrid looks forward to unique chance to play MLS All-Stars". Pro Soccer USA.
  47. ^ Murschel, Matt (May 1, 2019). "Orlando City Stadium to host Cure Bowl". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 1, 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Camping World Stadium
Home of Orlando City Soccer Club
2017–present
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
Camping World Stadium
Home of Orlando Pride
2017–present
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
Titan Soccer Complex
Home of Orlando City B
2017
Succeeded by
Montverde Academy
Preceded by
Avaya Stadium
Host of the Women's College Cup
2017
Succeeded by
WakeMed Soccer Park