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Orlando City Soccer Club held a ribbon cutting Friday morning to open its new $153 million stadium in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.
A host of elected officials attended the ceremony, which began at 10 a.m. Among those who spoke during the event was Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (pictured below left) and City Commissioner Regina Hill (pictured below right) as the club revealed renditions of the planned Parramore History Wall, a tribute to the community surrounding the venue.
Portions of the stadium and concourse areas remain under construction, but team officials said the venue will be completed in time for the Lions’ home opener March 5 against New York City FC.
Flávio Augusto da Silva, (pictured above) the team’s chairman and majority owner, said the Lions season opener was originally planned for mid-March, but it was rescheduled for an earlier date so it could be nationally televised.
Friday’s ribbon cutting kicked off a series of events leading up to next weekend’s match.
At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the team will host an open house at the stadium to allow fans to tour the new venue. At the same time, a 5K will be run, which will begin and end at the stadium.
The new home of OCSC and the Orlando Pride will seat approximately 25,500 fans and fans will be allowed inside the stadium for the first time during Saturday’s “House Party” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., during which those who RSVP online at OrlandoCitySC.com can walk onto the pitch, check out the stands and tour the locker room, among other spaces.
Later that afternoon, Orlando City will play on the new pitch for the first time, hosting a closed-door friendly against Saint Louis FC of the second-tier United Soccer League.
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com