Believe it or not, we are less than one month away from the first Magic preseason game. Orlando will open training camp on October 1 and open the preseason in Mexico City against New Orleans on October 7. So how will we get ready? By counting down to the beginning of the season on November 2 against Denver. Let's continue:
Today is a break from Magic history lessons and what-not. Today, we welcome back a staple of the Orlando sports season.
For those that remember the Turner Cup glory days of the late 1990s and the early 2000s, this hockey season will be an exciting one. The Orlando Solar Bears are "out of hibernation" and will return to existence in the East Coast Hockey League. The Minnesota Wild-affiliated Solar Bears open up their season in Estero, Florida near Naples against the awesomely named Florida Everblades. The home schedule starts on October 20.
On Wednesday, the Solar Bears began selling individual tickets for games this season. Tickets start as low as $15. Considering every seat is in the lower bowl, it should be a fun time. I am looking forward to attending my first Solar Bears game this fall.
You can learn more information at OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.com. Games will continue despite the NHL lockout. So this might be how you get your hockey fix for a while.
This is a really fun time for Orlando sports despite the fall off of the Magic.
Orlando City Soccer Club completed a season where it lost only two games (including one in the USL-Pro semifinals, preventing a second straight playoff championship) and won the regular season championship for the second time in its two-year existence.
Team owner Phil Rawlins and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer went to Kansas City's new state-of-the-art soccer specific stadium, LIVESTRONG Park, to take notes and plan the feasibility of bringing a soccer-specific stadium to Orlando and complete an MLS dream for the franchise since Rawlins moved it to Orlando from Austin. It has been only two years, but the team has great support (frequently drawing more than 8,000 fans per game at the Citrus Bowl and leading the league in attendance) and obviously a lot of success on the field.
Orlando City will return to the field at the beginning of 2013. Many of its top players are on loan to higher division teams headlined by leading goal scorer Dennis Chin getting a tryout with the Chicago Fire and D.C. United.
Tomorrow, we will be back to basketball.
44 more days!