Orlando City SC look set to make a very big and very noisy splash as they prepare to play their first-ever regular season game as a Major League Soccer franchise on Sunday.
The Lions will face fellow newcomers New York City FC on Sunday night at the Citrus Bowl in Florida and the club have confirmed that more than 60,000 tickets have been sold for their opening game of the 2015 MLS season.
The record attendance for an MLS debut is 69,255. That was the number of people who went to see the LA Galaxy’s inaugural home game at the Rose Bowl in 1996.
With more than 60,000 expected to be at Orlando’s first game, the club could launch themselves into the list of the top-ten highest individual game attendances for an MLS game in their first outing. That would be some achievement and shows that the club have a strong support base behind them.
“It’s a fabulous thing to be able to announce a week ahead of time that we filled the bowl,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said.
“[The fact] that we sold 60,000 seats for our opener is incredible. I always felt it was possible to do it, but to do it with six days to go just shows the interest there is in this community in the team and in the game.”
The main attraction will undoubtedly be Brazilian superstar Kaka but Orlando have plenty of important players such as Designated Player Bryan Rochez and powerful centre-back Aurelien Collin.
Orlando will move into their very own soccer-specific stadium for the start of the 2016 season as the $110 million arena is not yet completed.
But the Citrus Bowl will be their home for now, and it should be a very noisy and very colourful atmosphere as more than 60,000 Lions fans will welcome the club into MLS on Sunday.
How well will Orlando City SC do in their inaugural MLS season?