Thousands pack downtown Orlando for 3 events

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, March 03, 2018, 10:35 PM EST

Three big events brought thousands of extra foot traffic to downtown Orlando on Saturday and made for a bustling night for business owners.

A concert took place on Church Street, while Orlando City hosted its home-opener and the Orlando Magic played at Amway Center.

"The weather is beautiful, people are getting out, they want to have fun and it's soccer season," said Mark Ferguson, owner of Ferg's Depot Bar and Restaurant on Church Street.

He said that normally, there are 30 people working, but on Saturday, he had more than 60 employees because of the three big events.

"We’re thinking that there will be 4,000 people just for the concert, 19,000 for basketball and 25,000 for soccer all in downtown," Ferguson said.

Church Street district officials said they're starting to host their own events, like the Blackberry Smoke concert, to entice people to the street.

"Help these businesses that are local and really help them thrive," Church Street District Executive Director Janie Pope said. "When we bring people in to visit the area, that’s ringing the registers, that’s creating exposure for them, and it's enticing people to come back and visit again."

Ferguson said he expected to triple or quadruple his profits Saturday.

"We're bringing awareness back to Church Street," Ferguson said.