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Orlando's Got Game
There's something for Every Sports Fan in Orlando
As a city known for its world-classtheme parks, expansive resort options and a thriving food scene, Orlando has anew dimension to add to its packed playbook: top-notch sporting events, venuesand activities. Between the temperate weather of Central Florida and the steadyinflux of domestic and international visitors, it's no wonder sports venues areon the rise; new arenas are flourishing and future additions are in the works, asOrlando welcomes fans of all kinds to get hyped over their favorite players andteams, or join in and play themselves.
Orlando has beennamed the No. 1 city for soccer fans by Wallethub.com. In 2015, Orlando debutedthe Orlando City Soccer Club as thefirst Major League Soccer team in the city's history. The team is led by world-renownedBrazilian player and former FIFA World Player of the Year, Kaká. In March of 2017,the team moved to their new stadium, a $110 million, 25,500-seat facility indowntown Orlando. Sharingthe new stadium is the Orlando Pride,Orlando's women's soccer team, featuring forward Alex Morgan.
For football and international soccer fans, the new $207million, 75,000-seat Camping World Stadium in downtown givesvisitors a superb spectator experience with three high-definition video boards,suite seating and a 15,000-square-foot (1393.5-square-meter) deck overlookingthe north end zone. The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, The Florida BlueFlorida Classic, the Orlando Kickoff and The Russell Athletic Bowl are all playedat the Camping WorldStadium. TheRussell Athletic Bowl, formerlyknown as the Champs Sports Bowl, features teams from the ACC & Big Tenconferences. In 2016, a collaboration between Florida Citrus Sports and ESPNEvents called the Orlando Kickoff waslaunched, now played annually on the opening weekend of college football season.Orlando also hosted the NFL's Pro Bowl Week in 2017, aweek-long series of festivities ending with the Pro Bowl Game at Camping WorldStadium, and will continue to host the event in 2018 and 2019.
BASKETBALL & HOCKEY
The NBA's Orlando Magic is the city's most famoussports team. Fans can find them at home games in the amenity-loaded Amway Center, an 18,846-seat venue, andone of the most technologically advanced in the world. Offering VIPappointments like mid-level luxury and club seating, a stunning art collection,massive scoreboard and several restaurants and bars, the flexible venue is aninviting space for diehard fans and celebrities alike to cheer for Orlandoteams.
In addition to the Magic, the Amway Center is home to theOrlando Solar Bears, a mid-levelprofessional ice hockey team.
A key featureof Orlando's sports profile is the destination's multifaceted connections tothe game of golf. With a long history of golf lovers choosing the area fortheir retreats, vacations and retirement homes, it's unsurprising that ArnoldPalmer, one of the world's most beloved golfers, not only started his ownresort and golf course in Orlando, but founded the Golf Channel here. In 2015,the Orlando-based cable network celebrated its 20th year of offering24-hour golf coverage, now airing in 83 countries. Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge is just one of more than150 golf courses in the Orlando area, many from celebrated course designers,and some featuring academies helmed by nationally-recognized instructors. Soon, golf fans won't even need to leave thetourism district to indulge in their favorite pastime. Top Golf, a state-of-the-art golf range facility, is slated to bebuilt near International Drive in 2017. The three-level location will be 65,000square feet and offer 102 climate-controlled hitting bays for up to six playerseach.
In 2017, Orlando became the new home of American tennis, when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) openeda campus in the Lake Nona area ofOrlando. The 63-acre (25.5-hectare) complex encompasses more than 100 courts(hard and clay) and a multi-use building with a pro shop, fitness center,locker rooms, cafeteria and players' lounge.
For intercollegiate sports enthusiasts, the University of Central Florida,members of the American Athletic Conference, and Rollins College, an NCAADivision II school in Winter Park, offer a full slate of athletic eventspectator opportunities at top-notch arenas and stadiums.
A number of sports events offer visitors more opportunitiesenjoy games and even get in on the action themselves. From running to golf,football and beyond, enthusiasts can participate or cheer on others at theseexciting events.
- runDisney hosts an array of nine different races including 5ks, 10ks and full marathons. Participants of the races run through the Disney parks and celebrate at the end with a Disney vacation.
- The Atlanta Braves will return to Orlando for their 19th Spring Training Season at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex. Orlando is a perfect home base for spring training fanatics with 15 teams within a 90-minute drive.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament benefits the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando. This year the tournament is March 14 - 20, bringing together golfers, spectators and volunteers in order to raise money for the charity.
Find more sportsevents on the Visit Orlando EventsCalendar.