Florida Citrus Sports eyes new event possibilities following Citrus Bowl renovations

Orlando’s historic Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium has been a Central Florida landmark for over seven decades, but by this time in 2015 the 78-year-old stadium will be finished with it’s makeover.

The Citrus Bowl has called itself home of the Florida Classic, Russell Athletic Bowl, Capital One Bowl and Orlando City SC home games from 2011-2013.

With demolition on the stadium in full swing Florida Citrus Sports (FCS) hopes to have most of the renovations done in time for the Florida Classic in November. However, the stadium won’t be fully renovated until after the two bowl games have come to town.

When construction is completed next year the Citrus Bowl will be 80% new, with the upper bowl being all the remains from the old stadium, and seat 65,000.

“Overall you’ll have what amounts to a 65,00 seat state-of-the art facility that would perform very much like any NFL facility would.” said Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan.

Once the renovations are completed the hope for FCS is to be awarded a college football National Championship game, much like Tampa received for 2017.

“We fully intend to compete for future National Championship opportunities,” said Hogan. “It’s just a matter of when in the rotation it would be most likely to occur.”

A National Championship isn’t the only thing the Citrus Bowl will be looking to host, with Hogan saying that if the NFL even went away from having the Super Bowl in NFL cities, that Orlando would be “very interested in it.”

But a potential National Championship game isn’t the only reason for the Citrus Bowl’s renovations, a number of events are planned for the stadium, including motorsports, Monster Jam and the return of concerts.

“We would want to focus on a kick-off college football game in the regular season,” said Hogan about potential events they hope to bring to the new Citrus Bowl. “Most likely NFL in some form, whether it be preseason, you’d love to have regular season but I think the preseason may be the most achievable early on.

“And then ultimately a major international soccer match, probably in partnership with Orlando City Soccer.” added Hogan

The renovations will include the addition of a few things the Citrus Bowl has never had before, such as club seat, loge boxes, party suites, new sky boxes and an upgraded press box.

FCS plans on holding a community event to kick-off the newly renovated Citrus Bowl sometime in early 2015, once all construction is done on the stadium.

(Taken from Feb. 12 issue)