Orlando City's $110M MLS Stadium To Seat Almost 20K, Feature Rotating Lion Sculpture
Incoming MLS club Orlando City SC yesterday released details and renderings of its $110M, Populous-designed stadium "featuring an open plaza where passers-by can look down on a field sunken 10 to 12 feet below street level," according to a front-page piece by Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 19,500, "with the structural ability to expand to 25,000 in the future." It also will feature a grass field "open to the sky, and seating sections on three sides that are covered by overhanging roofs" that are "designed to protect fans from the elements and reflect raucous crowd noise back into the stadium." There will be a large lion sculpture that "overlooks the entrance," and just before a game begins, it "will rotate 180 degrees to 'watch' the action." There will be a festival plaza "lined with palm trees on the south end of the plaza, just outside the main entrance." The stadium also will feature a balcony-style bar "just below the video scoreboard with a 360-degree view; a club lounge; and 38 luxury suites." A seating section on the north end "dedicated to members of supporters' clubs" will be built. As proposed -- and if "building codes allow -- it would have no seats, but rails and extra room for 'safe standing.'" The supporters' section "would also have its own 'pub-style' area." Earlier conceptual renderings released by architects not associated with the project "envisioned a facility with a more dramatic translucent roof, but that design was disavowed by the team at the time and would likely be much more expensive" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/11).