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NWSL announces Orlando City Stadium as championship venue

For the second year in a row, the championship will be decided at a neutral venue

During halftime of the Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride’s nationally televised game on Saturday, the National Women’s Soccer League announced that Orlando City Stadium will host the league’s 2017 championship game. The announcement came during an on-field presentation, with NWSL Managing Director of Operations Amanda Duffy accompanied by Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

The game will take place on Saturday, October 14, at the conclusion of the NWSL’s playoffs.

Orlando City Stadium, home to both the Pride and Orlando City of MLS, opened up in March. The stadium seats 25,500, making it one of the biggest soccer-specific stadiums in the country.

"We are thrilled to announce that Orlando City Stadium, a new state-of-the-art venue that has already become one of the best soccer settings in the country, will be the site of the 2017 NWSL Championship," said Amanda Duffy in a press release from the league. "The city of Orlando has proven its overwhelming support for the sport and for the Orlando Pride, and we are confident all the necessary components are in place for a successful and historic championship to conclude the league's fifth season of operation."

Last year’s championship was the first time that the NWSL held a final at a neutral venue. BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston hosted the game, in which the Spirit lost in penalty kicks to the Western New York Flash. The previous three seasons, the highest remaining playoff seed won the right to host.

"The appetite for soccer in Orlando is at an all-time high, and we are thrilled to contribute to this movement by bringing the NWSL Championship to Orlando," da Silva said the same press release. "A huge driving force to invest in our stadium was to bring this community the best soccer opportunities possible, not only with our three teams, but with major events and matches around the world."