Yesterday (Thursday the 23rd of February) I got a chance to head over to the new Orlando City Soccer Club stadium and get a sneak peek at my “new home”.
The season opener is going to be on Sunday, March 5th with a 5pm first kick. It will be New York City FC coming to town to take on our Lions. Ironically, (for the casual fan) this is the team that released their head coach Jason Kreis…the same Jason Kreis that we hired to be OUR new head coach upon the release of Adrian Heath.
Then the next time NYCFC came to Camping World stadium, five weeks after Coach Kreis took over…we beat them here at home 2-1. Games against these guys (I believe) are personal.
So with only a week and a half before our first official MLS game, I thought it would be a good idea to head over to the new stadium and check out the audio booth where I’ll be doing the P.A. announcing for the Orlando City Soccer Club Lions as well as the Pride. Below is my view from the P.A. announcing booth at our new stadium.
I drove into the area around 4pm and found a parking space on the west side of the building, just outside of the huge entryway with the two teams’ logos. When I got there, it was amazing to see how many people were hard at work on the project, to beat the deadline. It was like being inside a bee hive or an ant hill and watching everyone diligently doing their job as quickly, and efficiently as they could. Everyone seemed to know their job and were too busy to do much else.
As I walked up the four flights of stairs to the booth I realized how out of shape I was and was getting a better vantage point each flight as to the height and view I would have from my seat. [sidebar: the field is approximately 10 feet lower than the lowest level of seats in the building…offering a great view of the action on the pitch.]
Actually, as I looked, walked around, and spoke to people in the stadium, everyone seemed to agree that regardless of where you sit for a match…you’re going to get a primo view of the action.
The audio and visual production at our new stadium will be second to none with all the digital equipment being installed. I saw what looked almost like railroad tracks of cables running just beneath the ceiling which will carry the audio and visuals of the matches to not only the scoreboards, but, to the multiple radio and television channels carrying our games live, as well as the internet feeds. It was astounding and extremely impressive.
I was so flattered when the organization called me and asked what type of mike and headphones I wanted to use to broadcast and communicate with the team of people working together to bring the gamecasts to our fans. When I got there I was blown away at the options. OC is sparing little expense at putting together one of the nicest facilities I’ve seen in many, many years. This should be one fun and exciting experience…not only for me as their P.A. announcer, but for YOU the fan as well.
With over 18,000 season tickets sold, and only about 7,500 single game seats available, game tickets will be hard to come by. I was told that three games for the upcoming season are ALREADY sold out. I would suggest you buy your single game tickets now before you find you can’t get them down the road.
Opening day will be launched in a state of the art building that’s wired like NASA. We’re talking about the most cutting edge digital capabilities found almost anywhere. Certainly a facility that the organization, as well as the city will be proud of. And speaking of pride…it’s difficult to not notice the 49 rainbow seats on the West side of the stadium representing the 49 souls we lost at Pulse Nightclub on that horrific June morning. This is certainly a beautiful tribute OCSC has presented to those we lost and the friends and family left behind who will always be reminded of how we are truly Orlando United.
As you can see by the picture on the right, the visual room for camera direction, graphics, and broadcast feeds is nothing short of a Kennedy Space Center control room. I’m glad and fortunate that all I have to do is turn on my mike and read what I’m told to. Two buttons for me…on and off…whew!
Congratulations to the OCSC family on making another Central Florida dream come true. Welcome (to our new) home….
Go Lions…Go Pride!