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Watch Orlando City while on holiday in Florida

Watch Orlando City while on holiday in Florida

Orlando is an incredibly popular destination for British tourists, with over a million of us visiting the Sunshine State every year. With attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, it's easy to see why it's so popular.

But just a few miles away from Disney is Exploria Stadium, the home of Orlando City SC and (speaking from experience) it's well worth a visit.

I am lucky enough to have been to watch Orlando play 3 times, once in their old stadium (the Citrus Bowl/Camping World Stadium) and twice at their new 25,000 capacity Orlando City Stadium, known as Exploria Stadium for sponsorship reasons.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know as a football fan heading to watch Orlando. We'll cover where the stadium is and how to get there. We'll also cover how to buy tickets, as well as tips on where to sit, where to park and what to expect from the MLS experience.

Key info

Visited byRob (website owner, Sheffield United supporter)
TeamOrlando City SC
StadiumExploria Stadium
Year opened2017
Ticket price$20 to $100+
Overall enjoyment
Matches watchedOrlando City 2-2 New England Revolution (17 April 2016, at Camping World Stadium)
Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (24 August 2019)
Orlando City 3-2 Seattle Sounder (01 September 2022)

About Orlando City

Orlando City are a very new football club. Formed as late as 2013 they spent 2 years playing in the USL Pro (America's second division), before joining the MLS in 2015 when they became the league's 21st expansion team. They play in the MLS Eastern Conference, but also play teams from the West (American sport is funny like that).

Their first few years in the league were relatively unsuccessful with the club failing to qualify for the end of season play-offs until 2020 where they finished 4th in the East.

In 2022, the club won their first piece of silverware, claiming the US Open Cup by beating Sacramento Republic 3-0 in the final.

Famous players

Orlando have had a number of famous players in their short history, including:

Club colours and where to buy a shirt

Orlando play in purple, and a large percentage of the home fans wear purple too. If you want to join in, there are a number of options inside the stadium including a club shop in the south east corner (which can only be accessed for inside the stadium on match days). Be warned though, the price of a shirt was $115 when I last visited!

If you're looking for a cheaper option, the club has a number of t-shirts and other gear available and you might be able to pick up a bargain from one of these places:

If you don't want to fork out for any Orlando "merch", you'll be fine to wear your team's shirt to the match. A lot of tourists seem to do this and it's quite cool seeing fans of other teams. You'll likely see a few British teams there (Plymouth, Middlesbrough and Celtic stick out from my last visit), as well as a few Brazilian ones too.

The main stand where the dugouts are

Where do Orlando City play?

Orlando City play in a purpose-built soccer ground, the Orlando City Stadium - currently known as the Exploria Stadium for sponsorship reasons.

About Exploria Stadium

The ground was first opened in 2017 at a cost of $155m. The 25,500 capacity stadium is also the home to Orlando's women's football team, Orlando Pride.

The ground is right in the heart of downtown Orlando, just a few minutes walk away from the Amway Center (home of the Orlando Magic basketball team) and the I-4 motorway.

It's also close to the club's old ground, the Citrus Bowl (Camping World Stadium - sponsorship again) - a much larger 60,000 capacity stadium which was Orlando's home for their first 2 seasons in the MLS. That stadium hosted 5 matches at the 1994 World Cup, as well as several seasons of college American football and multiple concerts. The two stadiums are less than a mile apart, so it's well worth a stop there, if you have the time.

What is the atmosphere like?

The atmosphere at Orlando's MLS games is much friendlier than the UK. Fans seem to be more supportive of their team, with little in terms of getting on players' backs for a bad pass or booing if they're losing at half time. Americans seem more optimistic and used to defeat than us British fans.

In terms of singing, Orlando (and much of the MLS in general) has more of a European vibe to it, with drums and singing throughout the match. They also have little platforms at the front of the standing section to allow half a dozen fans to face away from the pitch and lead the singing/music - again, similar to what we see in some European countries. This also involved throwing glasses of (what I assume was) water into the crowd, so be warned... if you're at the front of the standing section, you may get wet!

I can understand why they do this to create an atmosphere. The sheer size of the US means that most matches won't have many away fans in attendance, and those that are there could be in the American culture of "pick out a random franchise to be a fan of" as opposed to the (general) feeling of "support your local team" we have at home.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but the constant singing and noise tends to nullify the important moments of the match. If you watch "the wall" as Orlando call it (standing fans behind the goal), you have no idea what is happening from their chants. Is it a goal kick? A thrown in? Corner to the other team? A penalty? Red card? Missing out on the quiet moments means you don't get the ups and downs and tension in matches. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad thing... just something I am not used to.

How safe is it?

One element of European football which hasn't made it over the pond (thankfully) is hooliganism. Watching Orlando City is perfectly safe, even against the big rivals from Altanta United (who I saw beat Orlando 1-0 in 2019). The only part we have ever felt uncomfortable was walking back to the car at about 11:30pm after a rain delay in 2022. That was much more of "we're walking through a big city in the dark with relatively few people about (who might have guns)" than anything truly unsafe though.

Food and Drink

Being in the middle of a big city, there's a fair few options for food, but strangely there's no McDonald's/Subway/Burger King anywhere near the ground. There are food options, but it's more American delis and sandwich shops.

The good news is that there are a lot of food options inside the ground. The concourse inside goes all the way around the 4 stands, and almost all of it is serviced by food kiosks. These aren't your usual kiosks we get in the UK where the counters are tiny and the queues are massive - it's the other way around in America, with lots to choose from and very little in the way of queues.

Food options include:

It being America, all of the food kiosks are run by iPads which prompt you to leave a tip... you literally just passed a hot dog to me - that doesn't deserve a tip on my book! #yorkshireman

Drink options are also plentiful, with water and soft drinks as well as alcoholic options all around the stadium. You can also drink alcohol in the stands, and there's even guys who wander around with backpacks full of beer cans, so you don't even need to leave your seats.

A quick warning on prices though - it is expensive. A bottle of Coke was around $4, which is a lot compared to UK prices, but not actually that much inflated vs the $5 they charge in Disney or even the $3 we paid in vending machines whilst over there. Beer was also pretty expensive at around $10 for a 16oz can - that's somewhere around 480ml, so just less than a pint. So, whilst you can drink at the game, it's not a cheap thing to do!


Exploria Stadium is very new (only opened in 2017). As a result, the facilities are top-notch. Toilets are clean and spacious, complete with running water, hand dryers, bog roll and soap in the soap dispensers (it's a rarity for football grounds to be able to tick all 4 of those boxes!)

Large concourses - plenty of place to get something to eat and drink

Orlando City Tickets

Looking to go to an Orlando City match? Read on for all the essential info...

When is the MLS season?

The MLS season runs from March through to October, with the play-offs hosted in November. So, if you're visiting Florida during the summer, there's a good chance you'll get to see a game.

How to buy a ticket for Orlando City

The easiest way to buy a ticket is through the club's official website, which is run by Ticketmaster. That means no proper paper tickets, with entry gained by either scanning a barcode on your phone, or through printing them as home - quick tip: print them at home, then you don't need to worry about your phone losing battery or being unable to connect to the internet.

How much do Orlando City tickets cost?

Ticket prices vary dramatically depending on where you want to sit. It's not like buying tickets in the UK where there's a price for each stand - football ticket prices in America vary by block number. If you want to sit in the lower tier close to the halfway line, you're going to be paying a lot more than if you want to sit in one of the uncovered corners.

An example of pricing taken from a game in late 2022:

As a Yorkshireman, I couldn't part with $100+ per ticket, so we went with the cheaper option of $23 sat in one of the uncovered corners. This gives a different and interesting perspective of the game and also means that you're near to the vocal standing section, which generates a good atmosphere throughout the match.

Note as well that Ticketmaster does sell "verified resale" tickets which are tickets that are being re-sold by the person who originally purchased them. These are still valid for the match, but the price is set by the seller as opposed to the club or Ticketmaster. That means the price can vary quite dramatically, but also that you might be able to find a ticket for a "sold out" match.

Kids tickets

Strangely, Orlando don't offer any reduced ticket prices for children or for OAPs/seniors - every block in the stadium seems to have its own price, and that's what you pay regardless of how old you are.

Booking fees

If there's one thing you're guaranteed with Ticketmaster, it's fees. On our visit in 2022, our $23 tickets each came with fees of around $5 each. So by the time we'd bought our 4 tickets, the fees totalled $20 - almost enough to buy another seat. Unfortunately, fees are just something you have to put up with, despite how much I despise paying them.

Will I be able to get a ticket?

Orlando were very well supported when they first started in the MLS - their debut match at the Citrus Bowl drew a crowd of 62,510 (a 1-1 draw against fellow expansion side New York City FC).

In their first two seasons, they averaged over 31,000 before their move to the much smaller new stadium in 2017.

The good news for groundhoppers is that Orlando City don't often sell out nowadays. Their average attendance over the last few years has been around the 18,000-20,000 mark, meaning you're likely to get a ticket if you buy far enough in advance. The only time it might be difficult to get a ticket is for the post season play-offs (in October/November) or if Orlando are doing well in one of the cup competitions.

The Wall, home of Orlando's signing section

How to get to Exploria Stadium from Disney

The US is pretty different to the UK for new build football grounds. Back home, we like to build most new stadiums next to motorways or retail parks miles away from the city centre. That's not the case in America where new grounds are often built right in the middle of the city - and this is certainly the case with Orlando.

Exploria Stadium is built in the heart of the downtown area, very close to both Orlando Magic's Amway Center and Orlando City's old Citrus Bowl stadium.

Like many Brits, we hire a car when we go to Orlando and driving to the stadium is pretty easy. It's a short drive straight up the I-4 into the middle of the city. The only difficult bit is leaving the I-4 and finding a parking space - there's a lot of roads going in a lot of directions, but nothing that a good sat nav (or navigator) can't help with!

Approx distances and drive times:

Where to park near Exploria Stadium

Being located right in the city centre means that there's plenty of parking options for Exploria Stadium. I would recommend pre-booking a space in a local car park (parking garage), which can be done on Ticketmaster as you book your match tickets.

The first time we went (Camping World Stadium) we parked in a field close to the ground. It was fine until after the match, where it took a long time to get out of the car park (I usually don't mind pushing in and cutting people up... but this is America... they might have guns in their trucks!!).

A far better option is to pre-book in a multi-storey car park. We have twice used City Commons Garage - it's just off the I-4, pretty easy to get to and only about 10 minutes walk away from the ground. The walk takes you through the city's Church Street area with bars and past the Amway Center. Pre-booking the parking will set you back around $20.

One tip: make sure you set your leaving time a couple of hours after you really need it. Florida is famous for its climate and the match will be delayed if there is lightning in the area. The match we attended in 2022 was delayed for almost 2 hours due to the weather.

How to get to Exploria Stadium on public transport

Getting to Exploria Stadium without a car is a little more difficult.

A bus from International Drive takes almost 90 minutes each way and includes a couple of changes. There is a direct bus available a few minutes walk from Universal Studios which takes about an hour each way. Ironically, it's actually quicker to get a bus from Disney Springs, with the journey taking about 50 minutes. Bare in mind that night matches may finish after the last bus back has departed. Be sure to check the times on Google Maps or the Lynx bus website for more information.

There is also a train station in central Orlando which is served from major US cities through Amtrak. The local train service is SunRail which runs from Kissimmee into downtown Orlando (the Church Street station is only a few minutes walk from the ground), it doesn't really pass through many of the tourist areas though.

If you don't have a car, your best bet is probably to get a taxi/Uber/Lyft. The journey from Universal will cost around $15-$20 each way. From Disney Springs you're looking more like $25-$30 each way.

The map below shows some of the key areas around the stadium:

Map of Orlando City Stadium, fan zone and where to park

Anything else I should know?

Make sure you get there early to experience the fan zone, and keep an eye on the weather!

Pre-game entertainment and fan zone

Like many sporting events in the US, Orlando City has a fan park which operates before each home match. The fan park is located on the grass area to the east of the stadium, directly next to one of the stands. It's a great addition for kids and includes games such as giant football darts (kick a ball at an inflatable dart board which is the size of a house), bean bag toss, five a side football and more. For adults, there's a DJ playing music and a number of bars serving alcohol.

The best bit though is the freebies. Local and national businesses have stalls within the fan zone and will give away a number of things for free - sometimes this is on completion of a game, sometimes you need to give them your email address, and sometimes you just need to ask nicely! On our last trip we got scarfs, drinks coolers, pens and sweat bands. It's well worth going to the fan zone, just for the merch!

Weather delays

If you've been to Florida before, you'll know it can get very wet in an afternoon - particularly during the rainy season of May through September. Americans are very safety conscious when it comes to lightning, so if there's lightning in the area, the game will be delayed. The length of that delay depends entirely on the storm.

We experienced this on our trip to Florida in 2022. We knew that a storm was likely and sure enough it came about an hour before kick off. We were enjoying ourselves in the fan zone, when the DJ stopped playing music and the request was made for everybody to head inside the stadium. Everyone quickly complied and sheltered within the stadium concourse. The seats in the stadium were out of bounds, so people had to stay in the concourse. We took the time to have some food and drink, whilst keeping an eye on the club's official Twitter page and the WeatherBug app, which is great for tracking storms. The delay lasted almost 2 hours which meant the game eventually kicked off at around 9:30pm local time.

Would you recommend it?


I'm a big fan of the MLS (don't listen to people who say the quality is poor, it's not) and I've really enjoyed watching Orlando. They're definitely our "American team" and we'll watch City play whenever we go to Florida in the future.

If you're going to Orlando, it's well worth a trip to Exploria Stadium!

My kids outside the stadium, waiting for the match to start

Other things to do in Florida

About the Author: Rob Clarkson

Rob is the owner of A Sheffield United fan and father of two, Rob loves nothing more than a good game of football whether that's watching the Blades or one his local non-League teams. He's somewhat of a traditionalist, preferring the older grounds to newer purpose-built ones.

Away from, Rob works as an Ecommerce Development Project Manager for one of the UK's largest clothing retailers. He also owns and runs, a system which allows junior and non-League clubs to create their own low cost website.

Sheffield United supporter • 105 grounds visited • 56/92

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