A portion of seats at the new Orlando City Stadium will be rainbow-coloured to honour the 49 people killed during June’s attack.
On Saturday Orlando City SC chairman Philip Rowlins published a posted a photo of the construction site on twitter, showing almost ready section of seating shaped to resemble a rainbow flag. At the time of posting the orange seats were missing, but that didn’t stop the image from going viral throughout US media and reaching us as well, eventually.
While 40 seats are coloured differently than the rest (8 in each colour), the rainbow flag is complete only with 8 of the 25,000+ regular purple seats. That’s as close as you can get with a seating layout to 49, the actual number of people killed during the June 12 attack on gay nightclub Pulse in southern Orlando.
The current tribute is only one of many delivered by Orlando City, even if a rare thing in the world of football. Here at StadiumDB we cannot recall any situation in which a newly-built stadium would permanently commemorate a grave event happening outside the world of football.
Yet for Orlando City it’s been a way to connect with local community. The newly formed MLS franchise made numerous efforts to show empathy to people affected by the most tragic shooting in Orlando’s history. During the first game after the shooting play was stopped in the 49th minute as players and fans stood together in silence.
Orlando City are set to open their $155-million stadium in March, in time for their 2nd season in MLS and first played actually at home. The team spent their debut campaign at Camping World Stadium.