ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City Soccer Club announced Tuesday that the team will play its home games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort during the 2014 season.
For the Lions, who aim to finalize plans this year to start play in Major League Soccer (MLS), the complex will serve as a one-year temporary home during renovations of the Florida Citrus Bowl, the Lions’ primary home stadium.
Will Buckley is a member of the Iron Lion Firm, an Orlando City fan club that may have to tone it down a bit in Disney.
"We have colorful chants on game day and choice words for the other team," said Buckley.
Channel 9 has learned tailgating will be allowed at Disney and the complex will serve beer, officials said.
Ticket prices are going up by 40 percent as well.
Rawlins said it's all part of the move toward MLS.
"We're looking at trying to stage that so maybe the course of the next two years you'll see an increase in tickets prices so for the average fan it's not too big a jump when we make the major leagues," said Phil Rawlins, president of Orlando City Soccer Club.
Season ticket holders for 2014 receive first choice of seats for the 2015 season, which Orlando City expects to be its inaugural season in MLS.
To enhance the experience for spectators at Wide World of Sports, additional stadium seating is planned to surround all four sides of the soccer field.
The Orlando City games builds on the growing portfolio of professional and youth soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as well as adds to the list of major pro sports events held in recent years at the complex, including the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Atlanta Braves spring training, the Tampa Bay Bucs training camp, the NBA Pre-Draft Camp and Tampa Bay Rays regular-season games among other events.
The Florida Citrus Bowl is expected to re-open in early 2015 after undergoing more than $200 million in renovations.
For more information on the Lions’ 2014 season, check OrlandoCitySoccer.com.
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