Here’s a treat for you today: New Orlando City stadium renderings have been released by the future MLS team.
The stadium design from Populous plays off the Orlando City marketing — a lion mascot and purple colors — throughout the stadium. The 19,500-capacity stadium will be built below grade and feature a full 360-degree lower bowl along with a three-stand upper bowl, with the potential for the addition of future expansion in the stadium corners. Protecting fans from the rain and the hot Florida sun: full canopies will all seats to the front row on the east, west and north ends. As a bonus, the canopies are designed to enhance and amplify the crowd noise.
Besides the shaded seating, other fan amenities include multiple VIP hospitality areas, including a midfield Club Lounge with views of the playing field, up to 38 luxury suites and an elevated 360-degree balcony-style bar within the scoreboard structure. A full-size lion statue will built on a rotating base to allow the statue to face the stadium field during Orlando City matches and towards Church Street during non-event times.
And, given that we’re talking MLS stadium here, there will be a spot for supporters, with the team proposing single-deck section featuring standing rails with an open-air ‘pub-style’ area built on top of an elevated concourse. This would be located immediately behind the seating section for use only by supporter section members.
“This is yet another great step in our journey to Major League Soccer,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “We are developing a venue that will make soccer fans proud. We set out not just to build a stadium, but to push the envelope on design ideas and concepts. We took some of the best ideas from around the world and incorporated them into a venue which reflects our home in Florida.”
The new stadium will be located off downtown Orlando in the Parramore area, a block from Amway Center, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. It’s set to open in 2016; the team will play the 2015 MLS season at the Citrus Bowl, which is currently undergoing renovations.
As previously announced by Orlando City in one of the more unique outreach ideas in Club history, all fans are encouraged to send their stadium design ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter using #NewOCSCStadium. Upon review of all fan submissions, the Club will select a group of respondents to participate in future small-group workshops with the stadium design team. Fan input will continue to be solicited throughout the design process, and the Club will release a compilation of fan ideas collected in the coming weeks.
The fans seem pretty happy with the design, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
Fans weren’t sure what to expect, but hard-core supporter Charles Tolman was elated with the design unveiled Tuesday.
“I am beyond happy,” said Tolman, of the club Iron Lion Firm. “I was going to be OK if it was some boxy thing, but this is going to be one of the most recognizable stadiums in the United States, period, for any sport. … You’re going to see those palm trees, you’re going to see Lion, you’re going to see the roof, and you’re going to know that’s Orlando.”