Orlando City is still a few weeks away from opening its second season in MLS and has its eyes on copying the success of its inaugural game against New York City FC when it filled the Orlando Citrus Bowl to the brim with more than 62,000 fans.
The excitement around the city was palpable with all the purple walking around downtown and the numerous events throughout the city in the leadup to the game.
The Lions are hoping to fill the bowl again ahead of the March 6 opener against Real Salt Lake. They officially kicked off their campaign to fill the bowl again Tuesday.
“Current ticket sales are pacing ahead of 2015, and we are excited to show Real Salt Lake what it’s like to come to Orlando and face us at home,” Rawlins said. “If you were unable to attend last year’s home opener, now is your chance to witness history once more.”
Orlando City carried the momentum froward from its strong opening day with an average of 32,947 fans for home games last year in its inaugural season. That set the record for attendance by an expansion franchise in MLS. Orlando City certainly should be happy with the way things turned out in the turnstiles.
The demand and attention was so much, the team opted to redesign its new stadium to accommodate even more fans. The team will move into that stadium at the beginning of the 2017 season and it will seat about 20,000 fans.
So this could be one of the last opportunities for Orlando City to open up the upper bowl and really fill the stadium they have called home for much of the franchise’s history.
There is plenty of excitement for the team’s second season along with the expectation to make a playoff run. The team came tantalizingly close last year but could not overcome the late-summer losing streak. The push came just a bit too late.
Orlando City will once again host several events throughout the city including a tailgate at Cheyenne Saloon on Church Street on March 1 and the pub crawl throughout Downtown Orlando on March 5. Tickets to those events will come with a ticket to the game on March 6 against Real Salt Lake.
Kickoff for the opener is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 6.