The England Lionesses arrive at the stadium ahead of the USA v England 2018 SheBelieves Cup football match. Held at the Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida, USA on the 7th of March 2018 Photo: Ben Solomon for FA

Exploria Stadium: Five facts about the Lionesses’ opening SheBelieves Cup venue

The 2020 SheBelieves Cup is set to get underway in a little under a fortnight with Phil Neville’s Lionesses taking on tournament hosts the USA at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

England face the current world champions at midnight (UK time) on Friday 6 March 2020 in a fixture which will see the two sides meet for the first time since the USA defeated the Lionesses in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

Ahead of the opening match, we have taken an in-depth look at the Exploria Stadium and we can now bring you five facts about the venue.

Date opened: 2017

The Exploria Stadium was opened exactly three years ago on 24 February 2017. The stadium cost approximately $155 million to build and includes 25,500 seats, most of which will be occupied when the Lionesses arrive on 6 March.

Occupants: Orlando City SC/Orlando Pride

The stadium is the home ground of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Orlando Pride. The club will be familiar with some fans of the English FA Women’s Super League with former Birmingham City manager Marc Skinner currently in-charge of The Pride. Orlando Pride share the stadium with men’s Major League Soccer (MLS) side Orlando City Soccer Club. United Soccer League (USL) side Orlando City B also played at the venue for a short time in 2017.

Finals

Tournaments and finals are something which are not unfamiliar to the Exploria Stadium. The finals of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) play-offs and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s College Cup have taken place at the Exploria Stadium while the Florida Cup, MLS Combine and the 2019 MLS All-Star Game were also held at the home of Orlando Pride.

Internationals

Five international matches have been played at the Exploria Stadium in the last three years. The USA’s men’s side have faced Panama, Ecuador and Canada at the venue while the Exploria Stadium staged two group matches at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, including England’s 1-0 defeat to the USA.

Field size: 120 yards x 75 yards

The pitch at the Exploria Stadium is bigger than the playing surface at Wembley Stadium. The American pitch measures at 120 yards by 75 yards while Wembley Stadium is of a slightly smaller measurement of 115 yards by 68 yards. The Exploria Stadium has a grass surface.

Following England’s fixture against the USA, the Lionesses will face Japan on 8 March in Harrison, New Jersey before taking on Spain three days later in Frisco, Texas.

Source: Wikipedia

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