Orlando City Soccer Club is set to open it’s new Major League Soccer venue Sunday (March 5) against New York City Football Club.
The $155-million downtown facility — named Orlando City Soccer Stadium — has a capacity of 25,500 and features a natural grass pitch with Latitude 36 bermudagrass. The club previously played at Camping World Stadium, which had a synthetic pitch.
“They put [Latitude 36] in at FC Dallas last year, they love it and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it,” Orlando City SC head groundskeeper Matt Bruderek told MLS.Soccer.com on Dec. 23 of last year. “It will help us stay green and growing throughout the winter and it’s also heat tolerant. I put a lot of time and thought into it and I’m pretty sure this will be ideal for good soccer.”
According to OrlandoCitySC.com, the pitch at the new venue is eight feet below ground level, which is unusual for Florida (where the water table is very high). “This required a huge underground drainage system that took almost six months to install before full stadium construction could start,” the website reported. “The whole drainage vault can store 36,900 gallons of water, and cope with rainfall up to 5 inches per hour.”
Bruderek has a degree in horticulture and turf management from the University of Rhode Island and has worked for the Baltimore Orioles and the University of Central Florida, also in Orlando.
Bruderek tweeted this photo of the Orlando City Soccer Stadium pitch on Feb. 25:
Game one pic.twitter.com/7BYGXM4MRC
— Matt Bruderek (@mattbrud) February 25, 2017