LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 12, 2013 – As soccer continues to rise in popularity around the globe, Central Florida’s local team will be moving a little further south to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Beginning in March 2014, the complex will host the Orlando City Soccer Club, serving as a one-year temporary home during renovations of the Florida Citrus Bowl, the Lions’ primary stadium.
“We hope our fans are as thrilled as we are to call ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex our home field for the 2014 season,” said Phil Rawlins, president of Orlando City Soccer Club. “With professional sporting event experience, premier soccer fields and world-class amenities, this facility will enable us to play all of our home games in one location and in a venue where our fans will be closer to our players than ever before.”
To enhance the experience for spectators, additional stadium seating is planned to surround all four sides of the soccer field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With seating for approximately 5,200, the stadium will be one of the largest soccer venues in Central Florida, expanding capacity for even more fans to attend the Lion’s matches in 2014. Other amenities include free parking and a wide variety of food and beverage offerings.
“The team has really enjoyed playing on top-class, grass surfaces during Disney’s Pro-Soccer Classic for the past three years,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’re very excited and hope that our fans will enjoy every match in 2014 from beginning to end.”
The Orlando City games build on the growing portfolio of professional and youth soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and adds to the list of major pro sports events held in recent years at the complex, including the Disney Pro Soccer Classic and Atlanta Braves spring training, among other events.
During the past five years, ESPN Wide World of Sports has hosted more than 8,000 soccer teams, 100,000 athletes and some 200,000 spectators, coaches and fans, making it the second most popular sport at the complex. ESPN Wide World of Sports offers several events for soccer enthusiasts at every level — from learning camps for the beginner to clinics and competition for elementary and high school students to training camps for national and professional players.