Orlando City Refutes Third Rail’s Allegations

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by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Orlando City responded on Friday to a letter sent by the Third Rail refuting allegations that it failed to provide adequate security for NYCFC’s traveling supporters at last Sunday’s match.

Orlando City said it provided more than adequate security for NYCFC supporters meeting  inside the Orlando City Stadium and escorting them to the section, a procedure not usually offered to traveling fans. The club noted that the away supporters were seated as far away from the Orlando City supporters section and that it provided two security personnel and two police officers to protect the away section.

Orlando City added that there were no reported incidents inside the stadium and that all reported incidents from Sunday occurred outside the stadium. The letter is below:

As a Club, we are researching their claims and double-checking against the league-wide procedures we followed.

Every Club has a Supporter group liaison who takes care of home and away team needs because soccer fans around the world are known for their passion, loyalty and rowdiness. It is common to see them standing and chanting the entire game, which is why Orlando City Stadium has a fully standing-room only supporter section on the north end of the stadium. It is the only one of its kind in North America.

For visiting supporters across Major League Soccer the following steps are taken to help everyone understand what to expect:

  • For small numbers (20-40) we do not send a travel supporter liaison officer (TSLO). If the number goes over that we start to look into who is going to gauge potential issues that my come from the group. If the group is “high risk” we will send one or two TSLO’s to accompany the RSC members traveling. If we hit 90 or more we will send one or two TSLO’s regardless.
  • Prior to each trip a visiting supporter call is held to ensure all parties understand ingress, what’s allowed, security, seating, POC’s and exiting recommendations. This is also the time supporters can ask questions.
  • Home clubs rarely escort visiting supporter groups from a meeting point to the stadium and back to the original meeting point. But for NYCFC, we met them at the assigned gate. All along the way those fans got the visiting team treatment. We took that precaution to enhance the visiting supporters experience.

Two security personnel and two police officers were surrounding their section – This is not a common practice around any other sport who clearly have home and away supporters. Visiting team was on the furthest side of the stadium from our Club supporter section as well.

Lastly, we had no reported issues or complaints inside the stadium. All incidents that happened after the match occurred outside of Orlando City Stadium in downtown Orlando. Our team feels we properly took care of visiting team supporters inside our stadium.

[h/t WFTV]


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