Orlando City SC gave its new stadium a warmup act over the weekend, as it hosted a preseason game at the venue.
The coming weeks will see the official opening for Orlando City’s new stadium, which is located in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood. While the facility is not scheduled to make its regular season debut until March 5, it was put to use on Saturday to stage a preseason scrimmage match between Orlando City and St. Louis FC of the USL.
The game resulted in a 3-1 win for Orlando, which embraced the opportunity to open the new facility. More from the Orlando Sentinel:
“We all have to be honored to be able to perform in this stadium,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “We have to look at it as an opportunity to be deeply, deeply relished and be willing to do anything we have to to protect it.”
In front of a small crowd of fans, media and club staff, Carlos Rivas assisted Cyle Larin for two goals 10 minutes apart that gave Orlando City a 3-0 lead by the 35th minute. Larin was named MVP of the match.
The preseason scrimmage was not the only highlight to take place at the facility over the past few days. On Friday, team officials and community leaders gathered to unveil a historical display that honors Parramore. Located on the outside of the stadium’s east gates, the six-panel display will pay tribute to the neighborhood’s history. More from Orlandocitysc.com:
Kay Rawlins explained its importance to the stadium.
“In recognition of the rich history of this neighborhood, we formed an advisory committee to working collaboratively on a permanent memorial for this stadium,” Rawlins said. “Six panels, which will be located on the east side of the stadium, will highlight some of the memorable people and buildings of Parramore,” Rawlins said. “We’re gonna be your neighbors and we’re excited to be here.”
City Commissioner Regina Hill, who grew up in Parramore, spoke about her own relationship with the community, and her feelings about the impact that this stadium will have on her neighborhood.
“Today, I walked in and I got a little overwhelmed as I got ready to take my seat. Tears started to flow down my cheeks,” Commissioner Hill said. “I got myself together because I knew this was more than a sport, this was more than playing a game. This was the day, when we cut this ribbon, that little girls and boys that dwell outside of this soccer stadium will be introduced to a magnificent sport called soccer that will give them opportunities outside of Parramore, where they can take advantage of college scholarships.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the stadium on Friday. Orlando City SC will face New York City FC for the March 5 debut match, which is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. EST.