Orlando City SC will play the entire 2016 MLS season at the Citrus Bowl after delaying the opening of its new stadium until the 2017 season.
Club president Phil Rawlins made the announcement on Wednesday, citing construction time exceeding the original expectations. The Lions and NWSL's expansion Orlando Pride were supposed to begin the 2016 season at the Citrus Bowl before moving to the new venue during the campaign. Instead, it will be a full slate at the Citrus Bowl, where Orlando City had a successful inaugural season at the gate, averaging over 32,000 fans.
“Unfortunately, stadium construction is taking a little longer than anticipated," Rawlins said in a statement. "Therefore, in order to provide enough time, we have taken the prudent decision to play the entire 2016 season in the Orlando Citrus Bowl, and concentrate our construction efforts on being fully prepared for opening in 2017.
The Citrus Bowl has a turf surface, while the new stadium will have a natural grass surface.