Article photo courtesy by orlandocitysc.com
Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Orlando, FL – On Saturday, July 20, 2019, at the last minute I decided to drive down to Downtown Orlando and catch the Orlando Pride verses New Jersey Skyblue FC soccer game at Exploria Stadium, which was formerly known as Orlando City Stadium. It is advised to arrive early when the doors open at the stadium.
Parking was not an issue for me. I parked in a private parking garage in Downtown Orlando and walked a few blocks to the stadium. It is recommended to always walk with a group of fans going to and from the game. This is for safety reasons. There were a few homeless individual along the route there. They did not bother us.
Once I got to the outside of the stadium on Church Street, the Fan Zone was crowded with fans having fun. The DJ was spinning the tunes while a few vendors were giving out free swag. When at this venue, make sure one does not have large bags, professional cameras, hip pouches, and other unapproved items to bring into the stadium. My luck, I was wearing a small hip pouch and was told by security to take it back to my vehicle and to get a clear bag measuring just six inches. I ended up, walking back to my vehicle to return the hip pouch to my vehicle. Don’t let this happen to you.
I still had time to purchase my ticket and get ready for the game. All fans had to go through the security checkpoint. Everything had to be emptied out of one’s pockets. Once through the checkpoint, I headed directly to the Ticket Office. There a friendly staff member was able to give me seating options. Next, I asked the staff member about the $9 ticket and she told me it was a promotional through another website. At the stadium box office they had tickets ranging from $21 – $35 depending on the location. I ended up choosing the Standing Supporter’s section for $21. The purchased ticket could be either printed or send to your phone’s email. I preferred the printed ticket.
After purchasing my ticket, I headed straightly to the Standing Support’s section. They only had one entrance open in the supporter’s section with an usher standing by. The Supporter’s section is a first come, first service general admission area. I was able to get the front row behind the photographer’s area. It had a great view.
Now I could not wait for the game to start. A typical game has the starting line up along with the US National anthem being sung. This was a special game because all of the players who played in the 2019 Fifi World Cup in France were back in action at this NWSL game. Some of the players received some awards. They were Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Kriger, Marta, Claire Emslie, Alanna Kenndy, and Camila Pereira. All of these players played on their respective National teams. Only the USA came away as champions.
The game started, and these women were out in the field to play a game of soccer. A few fans in the supporter section were banging on drums to get the crowd pumped for this game. One could feel the vibration of the drum being played. The supporters are the true fans at the stadium. They have more passion and cheer for the Orlando Pride. The players enjoy when fans to make a lot of noise for the other team.
This was an exciting game because Orlando player Marisa Viggiano scored the only goal in the game at the 23-minute mark off of Chioma Ubogagu. This sent the fans into celebrating the moment with purple smoke being sent into the air in the supporter section. Most fans covered their noses when the smoke came their way and I know I did.
Finally, the game ended with Orlando Pride 1 over New Jersey Skyblue FC 0. The attendance at this was 9,415. The average fan attendance is between 5,000 – 10,000 per game. Directly after the game, the players will sign autographs on the first row near the tunnel. If you have never been to an Orlando Pride soccer game before, you don’t know what you’re missing. For more information please visit www.orlandocitysc.com/pride .
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Source of information first hand experience and Orlando Pride