Feel the Noise in Orlando
By: Shannon Watson •
Feel the Noise
Soccer fans are anticipating the opening of Major League Soccer team Orlando City SC and the National Women’s Soccer League team Orlando Pride’s new soccer stadium in downtown Orlando. The clock is ticking with the season opener slated for March 2017.
The final piece of steel was installed in the stadium last month, and seating installations are beginning with the all-natural grass field following close behind.
In the United States, a 100% privately funded stadium is a rarity, but Orlando’s soccer teams are the exception. The new stadium was funded by EB-5 investment. If you are unfamiliar with EB-5 investments the visa was created in 1990, it has proven to be very beneficial for both the U.S and the investor. Last year nearly 9,000 EB-5 visas were awarded. The funds raised for the stadium came in the form of a $500,000 investment which provides investors with an annual dividend, 2 season tickets and a very sought after U.S green card. An EB-5 investment provides a green card for the investor, their spouse and sometimes their children to legally live and work in the U.S. With that taken in to consideration, it was a fantastic investment opportunity.
They are also exceptional in location. Few major sports leagues are located on prime downtown sites. The new stadium is located a mere two blocks from the indoor sports and entertainment venue, the Amway Center, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
The new soccer stadium is unique in design due to a canopied roof and a low slanted roofline purposefully planned to amplify crowd noise, and it also has North America’s only safe-standing supporter section allowing spectators to stand during games. The plan for noise almost guarantees the stadium will become one of the most intimidating venues in Major League Soccer.
Also unusual is the plan for spectator views from the street due to having the field sunken eight feet below ground level. The lower bowl is built below ground level as well and features a 360-degree view.
At capacity, the stadium will seat 25,500 fans and will feature a fan plaza on the south end incorporating 10,000 square feet. Stadium perks include a balcony style bar, restaurants and shops.
Orlando City SC has already sold out the 18,000 available season tickets for the 2017, and are placing fans on waiting lists for 2018 season tickets. They have certainly earned their fifth highest MLS team value ranking by Forbes at an estimated $240 million.
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