NEW YORK (September 13, 2018) – The MLS All-Star Game presented by Target is coming to the passionate soccer city of Orlando in 2019. MLS announced its decision today in recognition of Orlando City Soccer Club’s emergence as a preeminent organization, Exploria Stadium’s stature as one of North America’s elite soccer venues, and the overwhelming support of soccer fans in the community since the club’s MLS debut in 2015. The game will be broadcast on FOX, Univision, TSN and TVA family of networks, as well as in more than 170 other countries worldwide.
The annual midsummer event will include nearly a week of festivities celebrating the sport and culture of soccer, culminating in a match between the league’s top players and a renowned international club. In recent years, the MLS All-Star opponents have included iconic international clubs Juventus (2018), Real Madrid (2017), Arsenal (2016) and Bayern Munich (2014).
Additional details including the All-Star opponent and matchday will be announced at a later date.
“Orlando City SC has played an important role in the rise and advancement of Major League Soccer during the past few years, and we are pleased to bring the 2019 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target to this passionate soccer market,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Next summer, Orlando will be the gathering place for soccer in North America with nearly a week of festivities and meetings. Exploria Stadium is a world-class venue, and we know the supporters within the Wall will provide incredible energy and support for the MLS All-Stars.”
Orlando City Stadium has been heralded as a first-class venue with stands constructed to position fans on top of the action with perfect sightlines to the pitch. The stadium boasts the first supporters’ standing-only zone in North America and since opening in 2017, the club has played before incredibly passionate crowds averaging more than 99 percent of the stadium’s 25,500 capacity.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected to host the 2019 MLS All-Star Game and all of the events that make All-Star week,” said Orlando City SC Chairman and Majority Owner Flavio Augusto da Silva. “This gives us another significant opportunity to welcome national and international soccer to Central Florida, and we couldn’t be prouder of our fans for embracing our Club and creating the passionate atmosphere that is giving us the opportunity to bring this event to Exploria Stadium.”
This will be the seventh major league all-star game held in Orlando – the second for MLS. In 1998, a crowd of more than 34,000 at the Citrus Bowl watched as a team of MLS All-Stars from the U.S. defeated league stars from the rest of the world, 6-1. The U.S. goals were scored by Tab Ramos, Alexi Lalas, Brian McBride, Preki, Roy Lassiter and Cobi Jones. The NFL Pro Bowl will be held for the third consecutive year at Camping World Stadium in January 2019. Orlando has also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1992 and 2012.
"Passion for the beautiful game continues to grow in The City Beautiful and we're thrilled that the 2019 MLS All-Star Game will be held in Orlando," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "Hosting another all-star game further demonstrates Orlando's reputation as one of the nation's premier sports event destinations and we can't wait to welcome the top players in MLS and soccer fans from around the country."
Annually featuring a host of fan festivities throughout the week, MLS All-Star in Orlando will continue the tradition of transforming the city into a celebration of soccer. This includes the MLS All-Star Concert presented by Target, which brings the community together through a shared passion for sport and music. Previous headliners at this major event have included 2Chainz, Macklemore, X Ambassadors and Aloe Blacc.
MLS WORKS – the league’s charitable arm – will also host various community outreach events, leaving a lasting legacy in Orlando. Recent charitable endeavors have included the creation of soccer fields for underserved communities, support of local sustainability programs, and providing volunteer opportunities among other initiatives
More details on All-Star week festivities will be announced in the months leading up to the event.
“As a supporter of the Beautiful Game, it is exciting to see the return of the MLS All-Star Game in 2019. I’m looking forward to watching our MLS stars compete,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins, Jr. “Orlando is well-positioned to host this annual showcase of league talent – and to introduce more people to our destination, as well as the incredible soccer IQ of our residents. It’s great to see the region coming together for an event that will cement our position in the soccer universe.”
“On behalf of our Chairman Dan Malasky and our Board of Directors, we are so pleased that Orlando has been selected to host the MLS All-Star week and equally as delighted that Orlando City SC and its players, staff and supporters will have the opportunity to host this special event,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of Central Florida Sports Commission. “We know that soccer fans visiting Orlando for the week will have an incredibly positive experience.”
The best opportunity to purchase tickets to the 2019 MLS All Star Game presented by Target is to become an Orlando City SC season ticket member or renew a season ticket membership. More information can be found here. Members will be able to purchase the same amount of tickets in their account; a maximum of eight tickets.
Tickets for the general public will be sold through a lottery, which will take place at a later date. Register at MLSSoccer.com/AllStar to enter to win a chance to purchase tickets.