A giant lion will hold sway over the new home of Orlando City Soccer in 2016.
Orlando City unveiled renderings today of the upcoming soccer specific stadium in downtown Orlando.
Towering over the southeast corner of Orlando City Stadium will be an approximately 3 times life size king of the jungle seated on a rotating platform so that it can alternate between facing Church Street and the field.
Breaking with previously speculated notions of a boxed in concept, architectural firm Populous has put together an airy open design that accentuates the surrounding city of Orlando and provides an abundance of room for expansion.
Orlando City President Phil Rawlins presented the images and commented about how the team had visited dozens of stadiums throughout Europe and North America looking for the best bits of inspiration to include into Orlando City’s new home.
“This is yet another great step in our journey to Major League Soccer,” said Orlando City President Phil Rawlins. “We are developing a venue that will make soccer fans proud. We set out not just to build a stadium, but to push the envelope on design ideas and concepts. We took some of the best ideas from around the world and incorporated them into a venue which reflects our home in Florida.”
Some of those features include the largest team shop in Major League Soccer which will be open on non game days and game days alike. Church Street and Terry Street will be closed on the latter making for an epic march to the match from the downtown entertainment district.
One interesting development to some is the fact that the team will not be building any additional parking but this is not surprising considering that the footprint of the stadium appears to be fitting the entire area of the property.
Initially Orlando City Stadium as it is called in the renderings will house 19,500 people and will be purpose built for expansion in the Northeast, Northwest and Southwest corners up to 25,000.
Like many European stadiums, Orlando City Stadium will not have a completely enclosed bowl but will have stands on three sides with the south side literally being open to street view. People will be able to drive down Church street and see into the stadium.
Importantly for Central Florida weather, the stands will be covered completely by canopies designed to keep the crowd noise trapped back onto the field.
The premium seating will be in the west stands which will include 38 luxury suites and the club seating sections.
The natural grass field will be sunken 10 feet below ground level to accentuate the raucous noise that will undoubtedly rain down from the supporters’ section. Speaking of the supporters, there will be a special bar area for them and in a first for Major League Soccer, standing room only sections. Additionally, there will be capo stands to help lead the chants.
Fans are welcome to continue sending additional ideas they would like to see in the Lions’ new home to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter using #NewOCSCStadium. When the team has reviewed the submissions, they will invite fans to participate in workshops with the stadium design team.