Central Florida is not just an area that the tourists enjoy visiting it is also the home to just about all the “want-to-be” professional league for just about every sport you can think of. Some of these went on to win championships for Orlando, while others were locally popular but went on to see their leagues fail or fold. Many of them were only around for one or two seasons which was not long enough for them to be noticed before they disappeared altogether.
Here are a few of the former Orlando’s professional teams:
1.Orlando Miracles- Women’s Basketball From 1999-2002
This team was owned by Orlando Magic, and the Miracle was added to WNBA in the 2nd season for the WNBA. The first general manager and coach for the team were Carolyn Peck who left in the year 2002 to become a coach for women’s basketball team known as the Gators. Dee Brown a former player for Magic took on the role as the new coach. Some of the top players included Shannon Johnson, Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Nykesha Sales. This team relocated in 2003 to Connecticut.
2.Florida Blazers- Football 1974
This was Orlando’s World Football League team which played at the Tangerine Bowl. The coach was Jack Pardee, and the team involved a variety of financial issues similar to all the other teams that formed a part of the WFL. However, the Blazers still managed to make it to the inaugural World Bowl. This is where they went on to lose against the Birmingham Americans with a nail biting score of 22-21.
3.Orlando Renegades- Football 1985
The Renegades were the USFL team for Orlando in the year 1985. When the deal fell through for the Washington Federals to make their move to Miami, this team landed up in Orlando and Corso was their coach. The team only played for a single season before this league folded because Trump had convinced the fellow USFL owners into taking NFL to court. The USFL went on to win their lawsuit however they were only awarded a mere $3.
4.Orlando Rays Minor League Baseball From 1997 to 2003
Once Magic found out they were not going to get an MLB team they decided to sell the team known as Sun Rays to the then-owner of Chicago Cubs an Orlando Sentinel owner Tribune Co. The Tribune went on to rename the team the Sun Rays the Orlando Cubs in the year 1993. When the team Tampa Bay Devil Rays were selected for an expansion team for the MBL, it resulted in the purchase of the Orlando Cubs and the year 1997 they became the Orlando Rays. This team stuck around till 2003 and then moved on later to become the Montgomery Biscuits.
5.Florida Tuskers- Football 2009-2010
This was one of the other professional football team’s that decided to call Orlando their home in the United Football League. In their first season, the Tuskers were “shared” by Tampa Bay and Orlando when they went on to reach the UFL championships game. Jay Gruden, the former coach for the Orlando Predators, took over in the second season which resulted in the UFL announcing that this team would be relocating to Virginia.
6.Orlando Thunder- Football 1991-1992
The Thunder formed a part of the NFL’s minor league World League of American Football which featured teams in Europe, Canada and of course the USA. The Thunders only played for 2 seasons and were remembered for their lime-green fluorescent jerseys.
7.Orlando Rage- Football 2001
The Rage formed a part of the WWE’s wrestling inspired XFL that lasted for only a single season. The Rage was excellent and reached the league semi-finals before they lost against the San Francisco Demons.
8.Orlando Seals Hockey 2002-2004
This minor-league hockey team held a distinction in winning championships in 2 different leagues while they called Orlando their home. They won the Atlantic Coast Hockey League championship in 2002 and this was followed by the following year when they won the title in the World Hockey Association 2. The Seals from the year 2002 to 2004,played at the TD Waterhouse Center know known as the Amway Center then went onto move to Kissimmee were they eventually folded.
Learn about The History of Orlando