Orlando City SC may be planning to build a soccer-specific stadium in the near future, but in the meantime, they will make a temporary move to a new venue.
The club announced Tuesday it will play its home games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World for the 2014 USL PRO season. The move is expected to last one season, before the club moves back to the Florida Citrus Bowl for the 2015 season following a planned $200 million in renovations.
“We hope our fans are as thrilled as we are to call ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex our home field for the 2014 season,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said in a statement. “With professional sporting event experience, premier soccer fields and world-class amenities, this facility will enable us to play all of our home games in one location and in a venue where our fans will be closer to our players than ever before. We look forward to next year’s possibilities before hopefully heading into MLS for the 2015 season.”
The soccer venue at Wide World of Sports Complex will receive additional stadium seating that will surround all four sides of the field. Additionally, in contrast to the turf at the Citrus Bowl, the surface at Wide World of Sports is grass, something OCSC coach Adrian Heath discussed in a statement.
“The team has really enjoyed playing on top-class, grass surface during Disney’s Pro Soccer Classic for the past three years,” Heath said.
The team expects a capacity of around 5,200, and has announced that 2014 season ticket holders will have a guaranteed first choice of seats for the 2015 season, which could become even more of a perk should the club enter MLS at that time.