The standard has been set in MLS for soccer-specific stadiums. Orlando City Stadium offers an unparalleled match day experience for fans; and franchises across MLS have taken notice.
Soon-to-be expansion franchise Los Angeles FC plans to complete the construction of privately funded Banc of California Stadium for their inaugural 2018 season. Similar to Orlando City SC, LAFC has prioritized their match day experience by implementing a standing room only supporters section. The franchise’s plans are in accordance with the growing trend of building state-of-the art, soccer-specific stadiums in the United States.
Just watch one game at Orlando City Stadium and it is easy to see why a club would want to emulate the noise created by the “Wall” – or at least try.
Coaches and notable figures in the American soccer community have praised Orlando City Stadium for its electric game day atmosphere and immaculate design. “I can’t think that there is a better venue in the United States,” USMNT Head Coach Bruce Arena said when it was announced the national team would play a World Cup Qualifier in the City Beautiful this October. Arena is not the only one who has gone public with his admiration of Orlando City Stadium. “[The stadium] is a blueprint for the future,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber during a visit to Orlando City Stadium earlier this year. Garber even admitted that the stadium’s design plans were a crucial factor in awarding Orlando City SC as a MLS expansion franchise.
The Stadium has reached its capacity of 25,500 in each of Orlando City’s eight home matches of the 2017 season. “It’s a great environment,” Sporting KC Head Coach Peter Vermes told reporters after a match against the Lions in Orlando. “First off, you love a tight environment. Having that kind of closeness and people right next to you, it changes that vibe for the players as well.”
Sell-out crowds and the boisterous “Wall” have made an immediate impact on the team’s performance. The Lions have had a successful start to the 2017 campaign as they sit tied for third place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference. Orlando City has posted a 5-1-1 record in their new home and the team plays with a certain swagger in front of the most passionate fans in MLS.
The contemporary, trend-setting stadium is the ideal venue to enjoy a soccer match in the USA.