Orlando City SC will stop play in the 49th minute of this weekend’s match at Camping World Stadium to honor the 49 victims killed in the mass murder early Sunday morning at a Orlando gay nightclub.
The stoppage of play during Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, billed as a first in MLS, is part of the team’s larger efforts in honoring the gay and LGBT victims and raising money for their survivors.
“Our city has endured dark moments in the past couple of days following two horrific acts of violence, and we are looking forward to using the influence of our sports team to bring some positivity into people’s lives,” said Orlando City SC Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “We are in the midst of tirelessly working to create a memorable gameday experience to honor the memories of our brothers and sisters on Saturday.”
In addition, a permanent commemorative memorial will be designed in Section 12 of the club’s new stadium set to debut in 2017, encompassing rainbow seats representing each victim. The club will also join as the title sponsor for Orlando Pride Week in October of this year.
The moves come as part of Orlando City’s participation in a joint collaboration across sports teams in Central Florida, which includes Orlando City, NWSL’s Orlando Pride, NBA’s Orlando Magic, ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears and AFL’s Orlando Predators. The teams are joining forces to sell #OrlandoUnited branded t-shirts with all net proceeds benefiting the City of Orlando’s OneOrlando Fund – OneOrlando.org. (For more details on purchasing the t-shirts, click here.
In addition, fans can purchase commemorative gameday posters available at the stadium on Saturday for suggested $5 donations and participate in game-worn jersey auctions with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting OneOrlando.org.
Orlando City’s game will be fully dedicated to the victims with special patches and t-shirts for players during walkouts, pregame recognition of first responders and support service personnel, as well as ticket donations for these groups. A commemorative section of the stadium will be blocked and dedicated to each victim.
Orlando City Foundation, the Club’s community arm, has also pledged a $100,000 donation to OneOrlando.org.