Photo by Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Following a successful debut, Orlando City has taken steps to get a few more fans into the building for the club’s second home effort.
Orlando City announced on Tuesday that the club will increase the Citrus Bowl’s capacity to 23,000 for the March 21 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The team will also continue to look at demand for tickets and adjust the stadium’s capacity accordingly going forward.
“Sunday night’s attendance was simply astounding and the demand continues to be very strong for our upcoming home matches,” said club founder and president Phil Rawlins in a statement. “Based on that response we will continue to review capacity for upcoming matches on a case-by-case basis.”
Orlando City drew an impressive 62,510 fans to its opener on Sunday, when it played to a 1-1 draw with fellow expansion side New York City FC.
Here are some more of Wednesday’s MLS news and notes:
FC DALLAS RE-SIGNS WATSON
Je-Vaughn Watson has been a key contributor to FC Dallas since joining the team in 2013, and the club has taken the step to ensure that his contributions continue.
The club announced Wednesday that it has re-signed Watson, who has appeared in 55 of 68 FC Dallas regular season matches over the past two seasons. Watson has scored six goals, including three game-winners, during his time with the club.
On the international level, Watson has appeared in 32 matches and has scored one goal for Jamaica.
D.C. UNITED SIGNS GENERAL MANAGER KASPER TO EXTENSION
Dave Kasper’s work in rebuilding D.C. United has been rewarded.
D.C. United announced Tuesday that the club has signed its general manager to an extension that will also see Kasper assume the title of Vice President of Soccer Operations. Kasper has been with the club for 13 years and has won an MLS Cup, two Supporters’ Shields and two U.S. Open Cups.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my work at D.C. United, and I want to thank our ownership group – Jason Levien, Erick Thohir, and Will Chang – for their trust in me,” Kasper said. “These are very exciting times for our club and fans as we enter a new era with a modern stadium on the horizon.
“I’m ecstatic to continue a strong working relationship with a fantastic young coach in Ben Olsen, with a terrific group of people in our technical staff, academy staff, and in our front office, and with our loyal players who fight for our shirt.”
FORMER DYNAMO WINGER DRIVER SIGNS WITH ABERDEEN
After spending the past two seasons as a member of the Houston Dynamo, Andrew Driver has returned to the Scottish Premiership.
Aberdeen announced Wednesday that the club has signed Driver to a deal through the end of the season. Driver has been training with the club since departing D.C. United following an offseason trade with the Dynamo.
“I’m delighted to get Andy on board. Hopefully he will make the most of this opportunity we’ve given him,” said Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. “During his time with us I believe there has been enough to suggest that he can be a good addition to our squad.”
Driver made 60 appearances and scored three goals for the Dynamo after joining the club in 2013 from Scotland’s Hearts of Midlothian.
What do you think of these developments? How should Orlando City handle stadium capacity going forward? What do you expect from Watson this season?
Share your thoughts below.
You want a high demand. You want fans to be on season ticket wait lists. You want fans to watch games on TV because they cant get in the stadium. All good things. 60k is a good number but dont forget they had two years to sell tickets to that game. All that said, I would think 23-25k would have been a better number for the stadium.
I would rather have a sold out SSS that was built for soccer than a half full NFL stadium. Besides your point is moot because, a) these 20k stadiums are already here and there is no changing that. And b) iirc they are ALL EXPADABLE.
It’s been said the FCD stadium in Frisco has the foundation built in to add an awning all around and another 10k seats. If FCD was smart enough to plan that way a decade ago, surely others were as well.
I feel bad for Orlando fans, it’s right in front of their eyes and they can’t get a ticket, plus their new stadium will only hold 20,000.
If I was a fan, I would be like, screw you. There’s tons of seats avalaible at the citrus and I can’t get a ticket.
I also understand sounders set the example to new MLS teams and old teams, but fans are coming out of no where and if MLS teams deny them a ticket, them how will MLS grow.
It’s a big risk at the end of the day, if you deny a new soccer fan a ticket, that will only make the fan go to a nba or mlb game.
Back then it was safe to say, ” it’s alright, will only open half the stadium or stop selling season tickets once we hit 12,000.” But now, soccer is growing so much, new fans are coming out and want to be part of the MLS movement. It’s a big risk…….
Real fans don’t let their club build a 20k stadiums.
In all seriousness, is there any doubters that these 20k stadiums will be obsolete VERY soon.
In most places that is already true. I realize they are easily built, and affordable, but they better make sure they are expandable, because that is what MLS is doing, expanding.
are there any doubters….OR….is there any doubt. either way, but don’t combine.
I don’t think you know what obsolete means and demand is a very good thing. So yes, I do doubt that teams and tax payers will be jumping on board to build giant stadiums for open seats.
The MLS model was made to sustain nicely with teams having 20K seaters… much like many clubs across the world…. Demand is a glorious thing when you want a product to seem cool…. hot tickets are generally hard to come by… BUZZZZzzzzzzzzzz
So what would you rather have your club do? Play in a half-full stadium that they can “grow in to”, effectively negating most of the advantages of SSS’s to begin with? Sell-outs are a good thing… they don’t deprive the club of revenue (they can always raise the ticket price) and they don’t deprive fans of an ability to see the game (I can think of a lot of things worse than more MLS fans watching games on TV– I’m sure the league would agree)
Relax…. cheap-to-build comes with the nice cousins of cheap-to-expand and/or cheap-to-replace. It’s only when MLS starts building fully enclosed, NFL style stadiums of the $1 billion plus variety that this really becomes a consideration