A three stadium visit at the beginning of a vacation turned into barely one as summer storms played spoiler. I’ve frequently thanked my luck in recent years when it comes to avoiding outdoor cancellations, but this series ruined my positive outlook for a little while. Our drive down to Florida featured stops along the way, first in Wilson, NC. There lies Fleming Stadium, a non-List stadium that is still worth a visit as the Tobs of the Coastal Plain League play in this historical park. Storms were persistent enough during the evening to cancel that game.
Then, it was on to Macon, Georgia. What a charming little city as the people were super friendly and we enjoyed the impressive Georgia Sports Hall Of Fame, then explored downtown. Dinner was at the famous Rookery and their burgers delivered. Unfortunately it rained all afternoon and even though it cleared by game time, Luther Williams Field was unplayable and the Macon Bacon game was off. Our hotel was on the campus of Mercer University, so I had to settle instead with walking and seeing their venues.
The final destination was Orlando, FL and DisneyWorld…a magical, yet daunting experience as a parent. Before we settled in for a week of Theme Parks and exhaustion, I went to the Orlando City match. Of course, as I sat down to my seat, lightning can be seen and we’re directed off to the concourse, which is not well suited to hold that many people. Returning to your car didn’t seem to be an option and the club was atrocious with updating fans as to what was happening. So we waited 2 hours until getting an announcement that the game will start at 10:15 PM. Social media also failed to say anything other than it’s delayed. It was uncomfortable and agonizing to just wait standing for an unknown time, but I wasn’t going to miss out on the lone stadium of the trip. I was really surprised at how many remained and even though Orlando City has seen a significant attendance drop since entering the league, it was impressive how many were there at Midnight. And yet, what I don’t understand is that you wait THAT long, yet leave with 10 minutes left! There wasn’t going to be much traffic. The 15% or so that left missed a well deserved reward for the home fans as an Inter Miami own goal in the 92nd minute led to the win. The supporters group making up The Wall made for a festive (though vulgar) atmosphere and the rest of the crowd was quite vocal as well. Exploria Stadium is a beautiful venue, it’s just too bad club missteps likely have contributed to declining attendance and their oblivion to the situation that night to frustrated fans didn’t help. I thought much of the staff/ushers were both clueless and jerky as I had to ask a few questions and try to get in a few sections for pictures. My most vivid memory will be standing in line to get in with a downpour ongoing, while turning angrier that this new stadium couldn’t provide overhead cover in the entranceway as my phone gets soaked trying to get the QR code login to look. Meanwhile, the douchy attendant just stares on as I’m panicking and praying my phone isn’t ruined from the rain. Finally, she tells me to try under the machine. Screw you Orlando City. For a more detailed review on a stadium that at least looks so darn nice, click here.