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Long time UP follower and Orlando resident, first time posting, so please excuse my "nervousness".   You are all so insightful and well traveled that I enjoy reading your educational posts. One comm

Grass looking great!

Shot from the citrus bowl. With the field being sunk it looks short compared to the skyline. 

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I know its the inaugural game, but apparently its already sold out in the Citrus Bowl, 60,000 tickets sold! While I'm sure some of the excitement will die down, it sure seems they aren't building the MLS stadium big enough, and I guess we'll see how the momentum continues throughout the season.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2015/03/orlando-city-soccer-sells-out-citrus-bowl-for-mls.html

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Once the hype dies down, 20K should be the correct capacity for regular season games. Most MLS teams don't hit that number weekly, so we would have to have some sort of soccer phenomenon going on here to eclipse what other metro areas twice our size can't even do.

 

Also, we might not win as much as the team says we will. I was not impressed with our preseason play at all, so I really hope they can get it together over the course of the season. If we end up being terrible, the hype train will be impacted.

 

In any case, they planned for future stadium expansion, but I think they would only do that after consistent sellouts with no sign of slowdown for a few years. I think they took the right approach to the new stadium.

Edited by Pete C
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Once the hype dies down, 20K should be the correct capacity for regular season games. Most MLS teams don't hit that number weekly, so we would have to have some sort of soccer phenomenon going on here to eclipse what other metro areas twice our size can't even do.

 

Also, we might not win as much as the team says we will. I was not impressed with our preseason play at all, so I really hope they can get it together over the course of the season. If we end up being terrible, the hype train will be impacted.

 

In any case, they planned for future stadium expansion, but I think they would only do that after consistent sellouts with no sign of slowdown for a few years. I think they took the right approach to the new stadium.

I'm a huge fan, and I still totally agree with this.  Debut season hype will bring folks out year one, new stadium hype will bring out folks in year two, after that the product on the field and the atmosphere of the matches will determine how many people come.  I think Orlando is a great fit for soccer and that OCSC has done all the right things to nuture a fan base - but keep in mind that winning was one of them.  Winning a lot.  The current team is going to be fun to watch, but they're still an expansion club. The big boys in the Western conference and the best of the Eastern will likely beat us handily.  Nothing kills the atmosphere more than empty seats (Amway Arena is still a palace, but three years of losing has sucked the atmosphere from the place) - I'd rather have a smaller stadium with a great atmosphere win or lose for the first few years.  That said, if 1/10 of those attending the game on Sunday become fans who attend frequently, that plus the current STH can sell out the new stadium. ***fingers crossed that the game gets played***

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Who?  Exactly.

Hi everybody! I experienced my first Orlando City football (...I mean soccer) match on Sunday and I was blown away by the energy of the whole event and how well organized it was and brought the community together. Kudos to the Marketing brains at OCSC! I have no doubt the 20K seat stadium will be sold-out for the foreseeable future.

 

Sadly, I am also a Magic season ticket holder and had to send my parents to the Celtics game...they confirmed what seems to be the status quo these days; the Amway Center was barely 50% capacity, despite the team finally showing signs of new life.  Mr. Martens needs a new Marketing team for sure...seems like there is a lack of creativity/appeal or perhaps the ticket prices are too high for the product they put on the floor the last couple of seasons.

 

How many times can the Magic fans put up with the exciting dance routines of the "youngsters" from The Villages as the halftime entertainment. Just jealous of the excitement/energy/freshness and pedestrian traffic OCSC was able to generate on Sunday...the future of Downtown Orlando and Parramore is bright indeed.

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I've said this on these forums before and I will now say it again. Let's celebrate the excitement now for OCSC while not using it as an opportunity to slam the Magic. I am also a season ticket holder and have sat through some very frustrating games with chants for the road team drowning out everything else. My take on this is a bit different however. Fans like winners and the Magic aren't doing that very much right now. When the buzz comes back so will the fans. The Magic actually hold their own in attendance compared to league. Turn on a game from Atlanta or even Miami these days and tell me what you see. 41 home games is also something to keep in mind folks. This is most definitely not apples to apples.

The game ops moments are fun but let's not kid ourselves. If the team was winning they could have baton twirling and nobody would give a damn.

If the Lions are still around in 26 years and not winning and drawing sell outs then I will come back to these forums and eat a hearty dose of crow.

I say Go Lions but I am also still waving my Magic flag and hoping for better days.

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I lived in Orlando for over 25 years and have never seen such community excitement for any event as what was witnessed at the Orlando City game last Sunday.

 

People chanting "Orlando" on the bus and being proud of their community and their team and the sheer volume of people walking through Parramore

 

Very different culture than the NFL games I've been to in Tampa and Jacksonville and very different feel (local) than the Bowl games or a Magic game.  A great addition to local sports.

 

The crowd was young and old, singles and families, international and diverse and ...very purple. What a great day for our city.

 

Regarding the stadium, heard that they future expansion would put it around 25-26k, although that is obviously not yet planned or funded.

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I lived in Orlando for over 25 years and have never seen such community excitement for any event as what was witnessed at the Orlando City game last Sunday.

 

People chanting "Orlando" on the bus and being proud of their community and their team and the sheer volume of people walking through Parramore

 

Very different culture than the NFL games I've been to in Tampa and Jacksonville and very different feel (local) than the Bowl games or a Magic game.  A great addition to local sports.

 

The crowd was young and old, singles and families, international and diverse and ...very purple. What a great day for our city.

 

Regarding the stadium, heard that they future expansion would put it around 25-26k, although that is obviously not yet planned or funded.

 

The horde of people walking down Church St through Parramore was the biggest surprise of the day for me. I didn't think there would be many people making that walk through a notorious neighborhood aside from the hardcore supporters that do the "march to the match" from downtown. However, as I was cutting through Westmoreland to avoid the main roads, I crossed Church St and all I saw was purple. These were not organized supporters...they were scores of couples, friends, and families young and old. What an awesome sight!

Edited by Pete C
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I know we are bordering on going way off topic but I have another thought about this.

 

The four major sports leagues that have been around for generations really play into Orlando's lack of deep community roots. If people aren't themselves from another region then their families most likely are and allegiances to the teams and leagues that have been around forever start showing. 

 

I think MLS and OCSC present an opportunity for a fresh slate and a fresh energy. Before Orlando City came to town I cannot recall ever seeing someone walking around town with MLS gear from another city on.

 

I think the only thing that is a caution to me about MLS is that nagging knowledge that these are not the best players in the world. As bad as the Magic are I go to an NBA game knowing that I will be watching the highest level of basketball in the world. The same is true for the NHL, MLB, and NFL. I think this could be a long term risk for MLS. 

 

Anyway, it is very exciting to see this energy and I hope it continues. Personally I'm a guy in my 40's who watched the opening on tv and thought it was amazing…then watched a few minutes of the game before remembering that it was still soccer and as much as I want to …it just doesn't do it for me. My 17 year old son watched the whole thing and loved it. I guess I love the whole story of OCSC more than I love actual soccer.

 

Hope to see the stadium rising soon! If there is a deep playoff run I would love to see things like goggles on water towers, jerseys on mini statues of liberty, and banners on buildings! When the town gets behind a team it's so much fun.

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I guess I love the whole story of OCSC more than I love actual soccer.

 

I absolutely agree.  I'm super excited for them to succeed.  I'm just not excited to watch a single minute of soccer myself. 

 

I was sitting at a Solar Bears game the other night and (I'm not sure if I've said this here before, but I've said it plenty of times, so forgive me if it's a repeat) my buddy asked me about OCSC and I said "Soccer is like where they take all the best parts about hockey and try to still call it a fun game to watch."  It's true.  Hockey and soccer are remarkably similar.  Hockey is much better because the playing area is much smaller, the goal is much smaller, the puck doesn't go out of bounds every 3.5 seconds, body-checking a guy into the boards, and fights.  Add in being right up on the glass in a good arena and it's even better!

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The horde of people walking down Church St through Parramore was the biggest surprise of the day for me. I didn't think there would be many people making that walk through a notorious neighborhood aside from the hardcore supporters that do the "march to the match" from downtown. However, as I was cutting through Westmoreland to avoid the main roads, I crossed Church St and all I saw was purple. These were not organized supporters...they were scores of couples, friends, and families young and old. What an awesome sight!

 

I took the free shuttle on the way in to the match from Central, but when I saw the lines for those shuttles after that match, I noped right out of there and started the long march back.

 

It made me appreciate how easy the walk from downtown to the new stadium will be when it's ready!

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I agree soccer and hockey have a lot of similarities. I have always said this to sports fans who dismiss soccer. They are both games of tension and anxiety. Goals in soccer and hockey give you a euphoric release that other sports don't often provide unless it is in the waning moments of a close game. The only thing I like better about hockey is that there is more scoring. The checking is also great and adds an exciting physical element to the game, but on the other side of that coin the fighting allowed is utterly ridiculous IMO. It has nothing to do with the game itself, so I don't know why it is in the game. NFL is a brutal game and doesn't need it, so why does the NHL?

 

I never felt that the soccer watching experience was dragged down by the ball going out of bounds. It takes seconds before the game is going again unless it is a corner kick, which is exciting because that is a scoring opportunity. I like both sports personally. Either of them are much more exciting than baseball.

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I have a particularly difficult time with the celebration after a 1-1 draw.  "We didn't lose!  We didn't lose!"  I'm sure with someone vested, the entire game going by with 0 or 1 goal gives you that "tension and anxiety" but to an outsider, it's just boredom.  Run up and down a lot and nothing ever quite really happens.  Ties are like kissing your sister, no one wins there either.  Ugh.  It's not like it happens once every 5 or 6 years.  It happens daily.

 

I do agree that the fighting in hockey has nothing to do with the game and should be removed.  That doesn't mean it's not exciting, but it isn't part of the game.

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To each his own. Most common complaints about soccer were on display on Sunday (low scoring, tie game, questionable fouls/diving), and yet at the same time almost all of the new/non-soccer fans seem to agree it was incredibly exciting and a lot of fun.  The reaction to Kaka's game-tying goal in extra time should dispell any idea that a tie game is no fun. I love soccer, and certainly could take the time to discuss/discredit each of those complaints, but this is not the forum for that.  Here, we can all agree a wildly successful spectator sport organization is a boon to the urban fabric, regardless of whether we like that particular sport.  Sunday was everything Dyer could have hoped for after battling through the recession to get all three venues (mostly) complete.  Tens of thousands of people downtown, spending money, buying things, using public transit, etc.  Over this weekend my wife and I ate dinner at a new place downtown, saw the ballet at the arts center, spent an afternoon tailgating at a city-owned lot, and used our season tix to bring another couple ot the OCSC game at the rennovated citrus bowl (who took the train to meet us). A few years ago none of that would have been possible

 

PS Orlando fans, despite being constantly presented as super-finicky by the Sentinel, seem pretty loyal to me.  The Magic still draw league average despite actively trying to lose for the last three years.  The Solar Bears do very well for a low minors team.  UCF draws well for a non-power 5 conference NCAA team with a football history that is barely in puberty at the top division (seriously, when will Bianchi et al stop comparing the Knights to UF/FSU?).  I think MLS will thrive here for a lot of reasons.  That said, folks need to stop going overboard about seating capacity.  Starting at 20k with room to expand is the right thing to do - and remember, expansion has as much to do with funding as with actual demand.  OCSC spent a TON of money just to enter the league

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To each his own. Most common complaints about soccer were on display on Sunday (low scoring, tie game, questionable fouls/diving), and yet at the same time almost all of the new/non-soccer fans seem to agree it was incredibly exciting and a lot of fun.  The reaction to Kaka's game-tying goal in extra time should dispell any idea that a tie game is no fun. I love soccer, and certainly could take the time to discuss/discredit each of those complaints, but this is not the forum for that.  Here, we can all agree a wildly successful spectator sport organization is a boon to the urban fabric, regardless of whether we like that particular sport.  Sunday was everything Dyer could have hoped for after battling through the recession to get all three venues (mostly) complete.  Tens of thousands of people downtown, spending money, buying things, using public transit, etc.  Over this weekend my wife and I ate dinner at a new place downtown, saw the ballet at the arts center, spent an afternoon tailgating at a city-owned lot, and used our season tix to bring another couple ot the OCSC game at the rennovated citrus bowl (who took the train to meet us). A few years ago none of that would have been possible

 

PS Orlando fans, despite being constantly presented as super-finicky by the Sentinel, seem pretty loyal to me.  The Magic still draw league average despite actively trying to lose for the last three years.  The Solar Bears do very well for a low minors team.  UCF draws well for a non-power 5 conference NCAA team with a football history that is barely in puberty at the top division (seriously, when will Bianchi et al stop comparing the Knights to UF/FSU?).  I think MLS will thrive here for a lot of reasons.  That said, folks need to stop going overboard about seating capacity.  Starting at 20k with room to expand is the right thing to do - and remember, expansion has as much to do with funding as with actual demand.  OCSC spent a TON of money just to enter the league

I think the concern is if we can really sell as many tickets as we did, we'll end up denying a lot of people that environment and the new stadium won't be an improvement over what we're having at the Citrus Bowl. Looking to the second game, on TicketMaster, the lower bowl is sold out, and it appears they haven't released the upper bowl tickets yet. Hopefully they get on that soon!

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how many people does the lower bowl seat?  It should be more than 30k b/c it is a full bowl but it is all chairbacks.

 

If this keeps up the rest of the year how will they justify only 18k seats in the new stadium?

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I just looked at the second game and there are still tickets in the lower bowl on Ticketmaster. The regular season seating map is only the lowest level of the lower bowl (the 100s sections) and excludes the corners. That map is 20K seats and I have attached it below.

 

For this game they have already opened up the corners in the 100s sections and most of those seats are gone, so they are definitely over 20K so far for game 2.

 

Next would be the plaza level (the P sections). These seats also have chairbacks. This section has not opened up yet at all, and I believe that is still technically part of the "lower bowl", so they have a long ways to go to selling out the lower bowl for game 2.

 

The upper deck is definitely not going to happen. They'd have to sell out plaza level first. The entire lower bowl including the plaza is around 37-40K seats I believe.

 

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how many people does the lower bowl seat?  It should be more than 30k b/c it is a full bowl but it is all chairbacks.

 

If this keeps up the rest of the year how will they justify only 18k seats in the new stadium?

 

The new stadium will have 19.5K seats when it opens. It is expandable to 28K according to the latest article on the Sentinel.

 

Orlando City considers opening more seats for Citrus Bowl games

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-city-lions/on-the-pitch/os-orlando-city-attendance-cap-2015-beyond-20150310-post.html

 

Also, there is something to be said for selling out games. You don't want to just open up a ton of seats and then not sell them out for the sake of exposing as many people as possible to the games. Sold out games = hype = demand. It drives sales.

Edited by Pete C
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The new stadium will have 19.5K seats when it opens. It is expandable to 28K according to the latest article on the Sentinel.

 

Orlando City considers opening more seats for Citrus Bowl games

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-city-lions/on-the-pitch/os-orlando-city-attendance-cap-2015-beyond-20150310-post.html

 

Also, there is something to be said for selling out games. You don't want to just open up a ton of seats and then not sell them out for the sake of exposing as many people as possible to the games. Sold out games = hype = demand. It drives sales.

I guess I jumped the gun, it appears they're opening up a section at a time so its hard to tell how much is sold for the game (looks like they opened up the corners after I posted before). Definitely more available now then when I checked before... the Plaza level appears on the Ticketmaster map so I assumed they sold them too, but perhaps not. The upper deck appears as closed on that map.

 

I agree that you don't want capacity way over demand, as that results in even less demand. When they start doing $5 tickets, especially if they started doing them in the upper bowl, it'd likely lead to a lot of lower level seats empty, hurting the atmosphere. But at the same time, it probably doesn't pay to only allow 20,000 in when there is real demand for 40,000 or 50,000. You want demand to slightly exceed supply. I guess we'll have to see as the season progresses what the actual demand is.

Edited by aent
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Smart opening a little bit at a time, like not selling the balcony in a theater to pack the audience into the orchestra. Same number of fans with empty seats behind and above them feels better than the same number spread out. Looks better on TV as well.

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I have a particularly difficult time with the celebration after a 1-1 draw.  "We didn't lose!  We didn't lose!"  I'm sure with someone vested, the entire game going by with 0 or 1 goal gives you that "tension and anxiety" but to an outsider, it's just boredom.  Run up and down a lot and nothing ever quite really happens.  Ties are like kissing your sister, no one wins there either.  Ugh.  It's not like it happens once every 5 or 6 years.  It happens daily.

 

I do agree that the fighting in hockey has nothing to do with the game and should be removed.  That doesn't mean it's not exciting, but it isn't part of the game.

 

I enjoy the game a lot.  It probably helps that I played soccer for a number of years while growing up so I can appreciate when a beautiful game is played.  I haven't played other sports so much.  When I watch a soccer game, I see a LOT of stuff happening even when there is no scoring.  In fact, a few of the best games I have ever seen were 0-0 scoreless ties.  I know this must sound insane to you.  There is a lot of skill being exhibited on the field in regard to smart passes, good ball control, good shots, good defense, and good keeper saves.  I think it is easier to appreciate if you have played a bit yourself.  When I watch a game, I look for things that I know I couldn't do and I see a lot of them just at the MLS level.

 

Then there is the huge significance of a goal in soccer in comparison to high scoring sports.  I think this is what gets most people excited even if they haven't played.  With soccer, there is always this looming idea that it is very difficult to score at all and therefore any goal can be devastating.  In fact, the offsides rule was created specifically to REDUCE the number of goals so that each goal would be more reflective of true skill by a team.  Most people who really understand the sport want goals to be hard.  If they changed the rules up and made goals easy then to me it would ruin the game.

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I don't think there is any way the demand is 40K per game for the entire season. I don't think that is possible, but they will find out real fast if they keep opening up sections every game. Most people can't afford to go to every game (especially those with families) or even a lot of games. So the demand for 40K might be there for game 2, but if you give 40K fans their soccer fix that week what does that do to game 3 sales? Game 4 sales? A lot of those people that go to game 2 are not going to game 3, etc, whereas if you cap game 2 capacity those people will buy game 3 and game 4 tickets. You need to keep demand at a consistent level. The worst thing that could happen is they keep opening up everything and sell max tickets, then have an under 20K attendance game. Then it looks like our support is waning. I guess we will see though. I just thinking opening up plaza level might be a mistake.

Edited by Pete C
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I'm not sure I buy into the "well, I can't go to game 2, so I'll wait and go to game 3" from a non-fan's view.  Honestly, if I wanted to go to a game this weekend and it was sold out the odds are not high that I would just say "yeah, I'll go next time" because I'd probably have found something else to do.

 

People who aren't fans usually are more instant gratification types.  I think what you said is very true with casual fans.  Non-fans, notsomuch.

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