If you count a sports fanatic among your vacation crew, the Orlando area has plenty to offer them. From professional sports venues to family-friendly bars and grills, here are our favorite sports spots to have a ball in Central Florida.
Billed as “Orlando’s home for legendary sports and entertainment experiences,” Amway Center is home to the Orlando Magic NBA team and hosts more than 40 NBA games each year and 225 events total annually. This $380 million state-of-the-art sports facility boasts 227 food and beverage points of sale, offering everything from sit-down dining options to a fabulous rooftop bar and sophisticated VIP sky lounge. Check the Amway Center calendar to see what’s happening at the arena while you are in town.
Just two blocks away from the Amway Center in downtown Orlando, Exploria Stadium is the home to the Orlando City Soccer Club and the Orlando Pride. The stadium, with a capacity of 25,500, is the first of its kind to permanently host teams from Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League, and the United Soccer League. Here, you’ll be treated to a truly intense fan experience as the structure was designed to create a one-of-a-kind, high-volume atmosphere. With a packed calendar of games, there’s certain to be something exciting happening during your stay.
Camping World Stadium
Previously known as Orlando Stadium and the Citrus Bowl, Camping World Stadium plays host to a variety of exciting sports events throughout the year. Best known as the venue for college football games, including the Citrus Bowl, the Florida Classic (Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman), and the Cheez-It Bowl, the stadium also holds soccer cups, monster truck rallies, and concerts. There’s always something big happening here, so check the calendar to see what’s scheduled during your vacation.
NBC Sports Grill and Brew
Located at Universal CityWalk, NBC Sports Grill and Brew is an excellent spot for taking in a game while enjoying full-service dining or snacks and beverages. The laidback atmosphere is great for adults and kids alike and features close to 100 high-definition screens for your game-viewing pleasure. Plus, this spot is open late for games that go into extra innings—until 2 a.m. most nights.
There are also plenty of low-key spots for sports along Orlando’s famed International Drive. Options here include the Lousiana-inspired Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux (co-owned by Drew Brees), the classic gaming environment of Dave and Buster’s, and the family-friendly BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.
Wherever you decide to take in a game, make sure to end your day in comfort at an area hotel. Close to the major theme parks, check out the Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista or the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista. If your game-viewing happens along International Drive, consider staying at the Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, or Best Western International Drive. The Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport are other great area options.