33,518 crazy fans packed the Citrus Bowl to watch Saturday’s game against the New York Red Bulls. They were there to see one of the top clubs in MLS, but also enjoy a special celebration.
Orlando City hosted Brazil Night, a tribute to a huge part of the city and the Club’s fan base. The festivities included music, food, and of course, futebol.
The game was the 3rd-highest attended game of the season, behind only the inaugural game on March 8 and LA Galaxy’s visit on May 17. The Lions are now averaging 34,960 per game.
“Very special game. It’s very fair that we prepare this kind of event for the Brazilian community,” said Orlando City majority owner Flávio Augusto da Silva before the game. “We receive in Florida around one million Brazilians and I’ve been talking with some friends in the community and every time that I go to the Millennia Mall or another mall, I ask the people in the stores how often the Brazilians go to shop. I heard that 70 percent of their sales are for the Brazilian community, so we understand that the Brazilian community is very important.”
It marks yet another way Orlando is connecting with the Brazilian community. Every week, Orlando City’s games are televised in Brazil, and millions of Brazilians tune in to see their star, Kaká, and his new team.
It’s not just the Brazilian community that the Club is trying to reach, though. Orlando City recently hosted English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion for a friendly as the Baggies prepare to start their season. To achieve da Silva’s goal of turning Orlando City SC into a global brand and a player on the global stage, hosting international friendlies is huge for building awareness. And to be sure, Central Floridians are certainly a big part of reaching that goal.
“Every game that we’ve played here, we’ve been in first place in terms of audience in Central Florida, which is very nice because it shows we have 36,000 average in the stadium, but also a big rating in the television,” said da Silva earlier this month. “We are always number one.”