Orlando City sets their sights on another full house for the March 6 season-opener against Real Salt Lake. Operation #FillTheBowlAgain is a go.
The club’s 2015 Major League Soccer debut saw an attendance of 62,510, a record sellout second only to the MLS debut of the LA Galaxy in 1996 (69,255). Attendance also surpassed the Orlando Citrus Bowl’s attendance record for any soccer match held there.
Lions founder and president Phil Rawlins said the idea of filling the bowl for a second time is beyond unreal.
“I find it difficult to keep the smile off my face,” Rawlins said at the club’s media day Friday. “We’re already at over 43,000 tickets sold for opening day again. It’s incredible.”
Heading into a second season in MLS, the team has an aura of excitement and determination about them.
“I think this year is [going to] be much better than last season,” team captain Ricardo Kaká said. “We start from knowing each other much better than the last season.”
Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath said he’s looking forward to what the next nine months will bring.
“I think it’s probably the most excited I’ve been,” Heath said. “I can see how much we’ve improved from last year. We’ve had a couple of additions as well, and I think when I compare where we are now to where we were this time last year, I think we’re a lot further down the road.”
With a new stadium in the works, next Sunday’s opener will be the last home-opener the club plays at the Citrus Bowl.
“[I’m] excited about March 6. Can’t wait to see [the stadium] full of purple again, and, to be honest with you, just the opportunity to recapture those memories a second time,“ Rawlins said.