Orlando's 2015 MLS expansion team is celebrating the moment that all soccer fans dream of -- the groundbreaking of a future stadium. Last week, with all the excitement and fanfare of an Orlando City Soccer gameday experience, fans marched from Church Street Station to the site of the new downtown Orlando stadium.
An estimated 3,000 Orlando City Soccer Club supporters, covered in purple, gathered at Church Street Station on Thursday, October 16, 2014 to participate in a half-mile walk to the planned site of the nearly 20,000-seat stadium in downtown Orlando.
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Led by a drum line, purple smoke bombs, club owners, players and city officials, the sea of purple, chanting "Oh, oh, oh, Orlando," convened at the site for the monumental groundbreaking ceremony.
"Bringing Major League Soccer to Orlando is a huge win for our entire community, and will positively impact our local economy and families, as well as international visitor... this new outdoor public stadium will be treasured by soccer-loving fans from home and abroad!" said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to the crowds in attendance.
The ceremony at the site of the new soccer-only stadium featured 24 tons of purple sand, fireworks and individually hand painted, purple shovels for the city soccer youth and dignitaries participating.
"An MLS club is much more than another professional sports team calling Orlando home," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "It's about drawing more international tourists, and uplifting our economy, bringing jobs and opportunity to our residents and businesses.
The Orlando City Lions will play the 2015 MLS season at the refurbished Florida Citrus Bowl, which has undergone a $200 million renovation just a few blocks away from the site of the club's new home. Their first season in the new venue will be in 2016.
Even in the theme park capital of the world, sometimes you may want to take in the thrill of a major sporting event. See why all the best athletes come to play in Orlando.
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Orlando City Soccer, Orlando Magic National Basketball team and Orlando Solar Bears hockey all call this city home. Our first-class downtown venues, like the 20,000 seat Amway Center and the Florida Citrus Bowl host major sporting events. The best in amateur sports and the home to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves spring training are played out at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort.