Central Florida sports fans – visitors and residents alike – will have plenty to cheer about with such popular spectator sports as the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Golden Knights football team. Other Orlando-based teams include the Orlando Predators and the Orlando City Soccer Club. Orlando is also bustling with baseball action during Spring Training as the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros come to town this spring.
The Orlando Magic play all their home games at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. Jacque Vaughn is the head coach of the Orlando Magic, which compete in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference.
The UCF Golden Knights football team formerly competed in the Conference USA but will join the Big East Conference in 2013. George O’Leary is the head coach of the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights play their home games at the 45,000-seat Bright House Networks Stadium.
Central Florida is also the site of Major League Baseball (MLB) Spring Training when the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros arrive each February. The Braves play 16 home games at a 7,500-seat, state-of-the-art ballpark within the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, while the Houston Astros compete at the recently renovated Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.
The Orlando Predators compete in the Arena Football League and play their home games at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. The Orlando City Soccer Club was founded in 2010 and competes in the American Division of the USL Professional Division. The team plays its home games at the Citrus Bowl.
Other spectator sports scheduled to take place in the Orlando area over the next year include the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl, which pits the second-ranked college football teams of the Southeastern and Big Ten conferences at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on New Year’s Day; the Silver Spurs Rodeo, the largest rodeo East of the Mississippi, which takes place at the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee in February; and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club in March, an immensely popular golf tournament that draws some of the world’s top professional golfers on the PGA tour.
Orlando visitors should plan ahead and pre-order tickets for spectator sports they wish to attend during their stay. Tickets to sporting events, as well as theme park tickets, can often be added to discount vacation packages, allowing families to enjoy significant savings on their Orlando vacations.