Orlando City Soccer Club to Play 2014 Seasonat ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
2014 season ticket holders guaranteed first choice of seats for 2015 season
Orlando City Soccer Club announced today that the team will play itshomes games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort during the 2014 season. For the Lions, who aim to finalize plans this year to start play in Major League Soccer (MLS), the complex will serve as a one-year temporary home during renovations of the Florida Citrus Bowl, the Lions’ primary home stadium.
Tickets for the 2014 season will go on sale immediately. Season ticket holders for 2014 receive first choice of seats for the 2015 season, which Orlando City expects to be its inaugural season in MLS.
“We hope our fans are as thrilled as we are to call ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex our home field for the 2014 season,” said Phil Rawlins, president of Orlando City Soccer Club. “With professional sporting event experience, premier soccer fields and world-class amenities, this facility will enable us to play all of our home games in one location and in a venue where our fans will be closer to our players than ever before. We look forward to next year’s possibilities before hopefully heading into MLS for the 2015 season.”
To enhance the experience for spectators, additional stadium seating is planned to surround all four sides of the soccer field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. With increased capacity of approximately 5,200, the stadium will be one of the largest soccer venues in Central Florida, expanding capacity foreven more fans to attend the Lion’s matches in 2014. Other amenities include free parking and a wide variety of food and beverage offerings.
“The team has really enjoyed playing on top-class, grass surface during Disney’s Pro-Soccer Classic for the past three years,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’re very excited and hope that our fans will enjoy every match in 2014 from beginning to end.”
The Orlando City games builds on the growing portfolio of professional and youth soccer events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as well as adds to the list of major pro sports events held in recent years at the complex, including the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Atlanta Braves spring training, the Tampa Bay Bucs training camp, the NBA Pre-Draft Camp and Tampa Bay Rays regular-season games among other events.
The Florida Citrus Bowl is expected to re-open in early 2015 after undergoing more than $200 million in renovations.
Having the opportunity to attend a live WWE event is really exciting for fans, but when WWE RAW came to the Amway Center we decided to take Zoe for her first live WWE Event!
This was the her first time going to a live WWE event of this scale, and there were some things that we prepared for as a family before arriving at the Amway Center and some things that happened during WWE RAW that we didn’t quite expect.
For our Pick Six, I thought I would look at the six key things we did to help make sure that Zoe had a great time!
1. Getting to know the WWE Universe
I should start this post off by saying that we watch a LOT of WWE in our house!!! We have Monday Night dinners around watching WWE RAW with friends, we watch WWE Main Event and Smackdown, and even attend WWE NXT tapings at Full Sail.
However since a majority of the shows are on so late, we DVR them to watch together later as a family. That way if Zoe has any questions or if things get too intense we can take a break to talk about things.
We tend to talk a lot about our favorite WWE Superstars (she LOVES John Cena, Fandango and Summer Rae, and AJ Lee), and when we don’t have all the answers about them we visit their Bios on WWE.com for some extra fun!
2. Choosing the right seats for YOU
There are so many different seating options at the Amway Center at so many price points, that it is important to do your homework about what you think you will want to be close to without breaking the bank.
Do you want to be close to the action? Do you want to be close to the concourse in case you need to be close to restrooms and concessions? Is your sole focus budget? Are you looking for a unique experience?
We knew that we wanted seats that would allow us to be close to the action while not having too many stairs, and that is when the virtual tour of the Amway Center came in handy, and I absolutely suggest looking for resources like that when you are researching the venue.
3. Arriving at the venue
With WWE RAW starting at 7:30 pm we tried to make our day as normal as possible, but at the same time changed up a few things since we knew that we would be out so late.
Usually Zoe will come home and play before doing her homework, but on that night we gave her a snack and worked with her to get her right away to get her homework done.
We decided to head down to the Amway Center early to have dinner at the Magic Grill, which turned out to be one of the best decisions we made for the night!
The Magic Grill is located on the corner of the Amway Center and opens a few hours before events, and it is great food at reasonable prices that is a great way to start getting your children adjusted to the excitement that surrounded WWE RAW.
4. Preparing for emotions…Is he really hurt?
While we talk to Zoe a lot about how while the action she would be seeing would be absolutely real, that the WWE Superstars were trained well and sometimes played up how ‘hurt’ they really were for the sake of show.
This was a sticky subject, because we didn’t want to ruin how ‘real’ the WWE Universe is to her while making sure she wasn’t fearful for her favorite Superstar’s well-being yet still acknowledging that it is a physical arena where injuries do happen.
We did have a moment during the John Cena/Damien Sandow match where the action got a little too intense for her, so we made sure to assure her that if John Cena was absolutely hurt that they would end the match and we also used it as a teachable moment to talk about how we deal with our emotions when we are scared and a little overwhelmed.
5. During WWE RAW
During the WWE RAW event, we knew that sitting for such a long period of time would be hard for Zoe so we tried to combat that as much as possible without having to leave the venue too often.
One thing we did was to take a few smaller breaks during matches or commercial breaks where we used the facilities, picked up some merchandise, and a quick snack.
Another thing that we made sure that we did was to let her stand up to cheer and dance as much as she needed/wanted to do as long as it was appropriate to what was going on around her.
We were pleasantly surprised with how little we left the venue, because she was completely engaged with what was going on around her.
And honestly, how could you not be totally engaged when this was what was going on around you!!!
6. Being realistic about bedtimes
The biggest thing that we prepared for before going to see WWE RAW was just how long of a night attending a taping would be!
While WWE RAW is a live event that concludes around 11:00 pm, make sure you factor in extra time for walking to your car when you are looking at how long your children will need to be awake.
We started letting Zoe stay up a little later each night for a week, and we also had a super low key day before we arrived at the Amway Center.
Overall she did a great job knowing her limits, and she totally surprised us when she walked over to a couch in the box and fell asleep!
BONUS: Fun WWE Extras at live events
Before you get to the venue for your live WWE event, make sure you keep watch for things going on around the venue and an eye on the WWE Social Media Accounts (Twitter, Facebook, & Tout) for fun extras that will be going on before the event!
At the WWE RAW at the Amway Center, the WWE NXT Superstars and their belts were signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. It was so much fun and a great bonus to our evening!
Also, make sure you download the WWE App on your phone for some fun extras, too!
I hope that these six ideas help you and your children have an amazing time at a live WWE event!!!
I would love to hear how you help your children be prepared for new experiences!