The first stadium with a safe standing section in North America, Orlando City SC’s new soccer stadium, showed off its intimidating atmosphere during Orlando City SC’s first home game. Orlando beat New York City 1-0.
Designed by Populous, the new facility cements Orlando as a regional center for sport and the home of one of the most intimate sporting venues in the country. The stadium boasts the closest first row and steepest upper seating bowl in the MLS, with the aluminum canopies offering shade to fans and increasing the matchday intimidation factor by reflecting crowd cheers back to the pitch.
“Our new facility truly reflects the energy and intensity of the growing soccer market here in the United States,” says Orlando City Soccer Club CEO Alex Leitao. “From the start, Populous understood we were designing for soccer first, everything else came second. As a result, we’re extremely proud of the new home they have helped us create for the Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride.”
Located on the Orlando sports corridor directly between Amway Center and Camping World Stadium, the new stadium combines local, regional and international influences – from the European Premier League-style seating bowl down to the dedicated concourse walls for local artists, to create a deeper connection to the community.
“Being able to describe features of the stadium as the first, the closest and the steepest really tells the story of what kind of impact it will have on the league,” says Populous senior principal Bruce Miller. “From the sightlines to the seat-to-pitch proximity, Orlando City Stadium is optimized for the ultimate matchday experience.”
With more than a decade of soccer stadium design experience, other Populous MLS projects underway include DC United’s Audi Field and Minnesota United FC’s stadium, both scheduled to be complete in 2018.