One GOAL mind
Orlando City Soccer Club was formed in 2010. Phil Rawlins purchased the United Soccer League rights for Central Florida and moved the Austin Aztex to Orlando. His goal was to bring a franchise to Major League Soccer. In order for Orlando to become a franchise the commissioner of the MLS set three conditions that needed to be met:
- The Orlando Market needed to garner enough fan support to uphold a MLS team.
- A strong ownership group was needed.
- The team had to play in a soccer-specific stadium.
With all the qualifications up to par, Orlando City was awarded a franchise in November of 2013.
Orlando City is one of the most popular teams in the MLS. Part of it is because the team is so new, but based on attendance the club has very loyal fan base. Average attendance was reported at 23,866 fans per game. That ranks 6th out of a total of 23 teams in 2018. This is a little down from 25,028 in 2017 when it ranked 4th, but that was also when the MLS had 22 teams. Since the team became a part of the MLS they’ve had all kinds of fan support, there have been Facebook groups and Fan Clubs all the way out in the UK. The Facebook group has 3,225 followers and about the same amount of likes. The club’s most notable fans are their Supporter Clubs. The team has two: Iron Lion Firm and The Ruckus. What makes these teams so popular for the team is the privileges they’re allotted and how loud they are. They make each match an event of wonderful chaos for the opposing team . They are allowed to bring and wave flags, bang drums and play other instruments, use controlled smoke, and can have a seat on the Fan Advisory Council.
Built For One
On May 29, 2015, Orlando City SC made plans to build a brand new stadium for the club. The stadium built for the club was soccer exclusive. The Orlando City SC are the sole owners and operators of the stadium. The max capacity for the stadium is set at 25,500 seats. The land the stadium is built on was bought for around $8.2 million, with the construction set at about $110 million. As construction began the cost rose to $155 million. Doors were first opened on March 5, 2017 and capacity was met for the first game.
The Biggest Green
Money plays a major factor with MLS teams. The Orlando City SC has had a very positive impact on the Central Florida area that will carry over for years to come. Since bringing the team to the area, it is estimated that the team will bring approximately $1.2 billion dollars to Orlando over the course of 30 years. Over 85 jobs in direct connection with the team have been created with an estimation of $10 million in salary generation. The team also has been able to benefit from being in the area; since 2016 the team’s value has risen every year from $240 million dollars to $490.53 million dollars. With all the money that pours in, the club is able to manage an estimated $5.9 million in revenue each year. There has also been a steady increase in the profit that the team has made.