ORLANDO, Fla. – From Lake Eola to the Orlando Eye, from Kissimmee to Clermont, dozens took part in a scavenger hunt on a rainy Tuesday to get their hands on two free tickets to the U.S. men's national soccer match versus Ecuador, held at the Orlando City Soccer Stadium on Thursday.
In partnership with Orlando City Soccer and the U.S. men’s national soccer team, the Greater Orlando Sports Commission organized the scavenger hunt to explore 13 Central Florida hot spots for a chance to win tickets to the game.
The first one was at the Lake Eola bandstand. The clue read: "They say good things happen at the end of rainbows. Say hello to the swans at the lake downtown and find your 'pot of gold' stage left."
That's where we found Frank Sepulveda.
"Someone found it," he said after missing the first set of tickets. He planned to continue. "Might as well do it. I'm on my day off, why not just go out and do it?"
Peiter Hanson also missed the first set of tickets.
"I am hunting them down. I am going to make those tickets mine," Hanson said.
The clues were released 30 minutes at a times, sending the scavengers to the University of Central Florida, Lake Nona and Crane's Roost in Altamonte Springs.
The winners were then asked to post a picture, with their winning tickets, on social media. The 13 locations having two tickets each is not a coincidence, according to Jason Seigel, the CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
"It's all in recognition of 2026," Seigel said. "We have 26 tickets up for grabs, 13 pairs of tickets that we have scattered all over Orlando."
Orlando right now is in the real hunt to host the World Cup in 2026.
"We want the World Cup back," Seigel said, adding that Orlando hosted the World Cup in 1994.
When the hunt for the World Cup 2026 city began 18 months ago, Seigel said there were 47 cities in North America in the mix. Now, there are 23 and Orlando is still in.
"We have a lot of work to do to get in the final 16," Seigel said.
That work includes showing the world how much of a soccer-crazed town Orlando already is, with soccer-crazed fans running around town trying to find free tickets.
"Orlando is trying to be bigger with soccer and that never used to be and, more and more, fans are becoming soccer fans," Sepulveda said. "It's really good to see and support not just the soccer team, but getting people out there."
Thursday night's game will mark the third time ever that the U.S. men's national soccer team is in Orlando. Tickets are still available here.