ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão is expecting a packed house for the club’s season opener.
Leitão added the club is happy with its season ticket base. Some fans on social media toward the end of last season – Orlando City’s worst in MLS – took issue with raised season ticket prices for 2019, though Leitão said the price hikes were not stadium-wide.
“There were places that [the price] was lower, some other places that it was higher and places where we just didn’t change at all,” Leitão said in an interview with Pro Soccer USA at Orlando City Stadium.
A club official told Pro Soccer USA Orlando City has nearly 18,000 season tickets sold as of Tuesday, but that number is still climbing after the Orlando City Invitational and the introduction of the team’s new star winger, Nani. The Lions take on NYCFC at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at home and Leitão said the match is quickly approaching sold-out status. The club on Friday announced The Wall – Orlando City Stadium’s safe-standing supporters section – is sold out.
“If you probably speak with the guys in The Wall, they’re going to tell you they’re pretty happy, because we didn’t change a dollar since we started this,” Leitao said. “In some other areas we felt like, ‘Oh my God, maybe here there’s something to be done in order to create a balance in pricing.’”
He added, “I understand, sometimes, frustration about it. But again, we are moving very quickly to have a sold-out opening. Season ticket holders are at a very good base right now. We’re happy. The fans, I think they understood what we did. They understood work we’ve put in this preseason and the excitement’s coming back.”
Orlando City had an average announced home attendance – tickets distributed, including season tickets – of 23,866 in 2018.
“People need to remember this is our third year in the stadium,” Leitão said. “Actually, going into the third year. We’ve had just two. You learn about the scarcities and one place and in the other.”
Last season, a club official told Pro Soccer USA that Orlando City’s season ticket base was around 19,000, and that, historically, renewals were at about 92 percent.
This season, Orlando City season ticket account holders are getting a commemorative scarf. While the scarf is one-per-account, there are additional awards for season ticket holders that are per-seat, like an exclusive CITY iD patch.