Orlando City to stop match in 49th minute to honor shooting victims
Orlando City will stop their match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in the 49th minute to honor the 49 victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub last week.
"Our city has endured dark moments in the past couple of days following two horrific acts of violence, and we are looking forward to using the influence of our sports team to bring some positivity into people's lives," said Orlando City SC Founder and President Phil Rawlins. "We are in the midst of tirelessly working to create a memorable gameday experience to honor the memories of our brothers and sisters on Saturday."
The match will be the first major sporting event in Orlando since the mass shooting and Orlando City has said that the entire match will be dedicated to the victims, with special patches and t-shirts in warmups, as well as a section of seats blocked off for the victims.
Orlando Health is the club's shirt sponsor and Orlando City are joining them in recognizing the first responders and medical personnel at the scene. The club had been working with their partner to ensure there would be enough blood stock in the aftermath of the attack, but said that there is currently enough blood stock. However, they will work to encourage people to donate blood in the coming months.
The club has already pledged a $100,000 donation to the OneOrlando Fund through its Orlando City Foundation. The Orlando Magic made the same donation.
The match will be the largest gathering in the city since the tragic shooting and Orlando City said their goal is to bring the community together after the tragedy "affecting the City of Orlando and its LGBT and Latino communities."