Orlando City SC announced Tuesday afternoon that is was bringing back the I-4 Derby against fellow Florida side the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The first leg of the series will be held in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on April 30th, with the second leg occurring in St. Petersburg at Al Lang Stadium on Sunday, July 6.
Here’s is the full press release sent out by the Lions’ PR staff:
Orlando, Fla.- Orlando City SC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced today the return of the I-4 Derby friendly matches, beginning in April 2014. The first match of the derby will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Wednesday, April 30, with the second leg occurring in St. Petersburg at Al Lang Stadium on Sunday, July 6.
For OCSC fans, the home leg of the I-4 Derby will be included in this year’s Orlando City season-ticket package. For non-season ticket holders, single game tickets will feature the same pricing as regular season matches- with tickets starting at just $19.
“We’re delighted to be playing the Rowdies again this year,” said President Phil Rawlins. “Derby matches are great for the sport and for our fans, so we’re looking forward to two great matches again this year.”
The I-4 Derby was agreed upon by both sides last year after continuous fan suggestion from the two clubs’ supporter groups.
After a win against the Rowdies in the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Orlando carried that momentum over into the 2013 derby matches and captured two 3-2 victories.
Both matches at the Florida Citrus Bowl and Al Lang Stadium featured an incredible atmosphere, as each team’s supporter groups travelled to the opposing side’s venue to represent not only their team but also their city.
“We definitely enjoy the chance to play against a nearby club,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “They’re a good side and they’ve made some moves this off-season, but we’ll definitely be up for the game because we know how much it means to the fans.”
Since then, City has gone on to win their second USL PRO post-season championship and has been active in comprising a talented roster for not only 2014 but also for their inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign in 2015.
During 2013, the Rowdies finished third in the North American Soccer League (NASL) fall tables (5-5-4) after winning the NASL Soccer Bowl in 2012. A key highlight for the Tampa Bay based club in 2013 was a 1-0 defeat over the Seattle Sounders of MLS in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Tickets for the first leg in Orlando will be available for purchase on Friday, April 4, at 10 a.m. via TicketMaster.com. Tickets for the away leg in Tampa will go on sale at a later date and will be available for purchase via www.rowdiessoccer.com.
Orlando City season-ticket holders will receive their tickets in advance of the home leg.
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