Sometimes relationships are just a perfect fit. The one between Greg LeFils and Florida Citrus Sports is one incredible example.
A longtime Florida Citrus Sports member, LeFils has been a familiar face around Camping World Stadium for years. But his history with the former Citrus Bowl goes back decades, to his early days as a referee — a side job that brings him closer to the action than most could ever dream.
A CPA at LeFils & Company, LLC, by trade, LeFils started working high school football games in the late 1980s, as a member of the all-important chain gang. Those gigs eventually led him to college games, where he formed great relationships with officials from all over the country. And those bonds come in handy during bowl season, when LeFils volunteers as a liaison for the officials calling the Florida Citrus Sports games at Camping World Stadium.
“As a matter of fact, the same guys still work the chains at the Citrus Bowl,” LeFils said of his work, which earned him Volunteer of the Year honors from Florida Citrus Sports for the 2015-16 season.
Accoding to LeFils, a fourth-generation Florida resident, his job as an ambassador for the games is made all the more enjoyable thanks to the 2014 renovations to Camping World Stadium, which he feels changed the way people look at Orlando when it comes to major sporting events.
“It has brought our area to a completely higher, and different level,” LeFils said. “They are now on a much higher level than they were 20-25 years ago.”
LeFils knows this because he’s seen how the referees react to the stadium when they pull up to the building for a game.
“It’s standing there in all its grandeur, and I’m proud to say ‘That is our stadium,’” LeFils said. “Everybody I’ve had in the van with me all of these years, they’ve always been incredibly impressed with the venue, itself.”
In addition to wowing officials and game attendees, the Camping World Stadium renovations have also helped attract other major sporting events from Kickoff Classics to international soccer to the NFL’s Pro Bowl. And as a CPA, LeFils understands the economics of these big events, and how they impact the community.
“When you have 45-55 to 65,000 people in the stadium, and they come down to Central Florida, and enjoy all it has to offer, it brings a tremendous impact economically to the Orlando area,” explains LeFils.
However, LeFils is quick to note that it’s the people working inside — from Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan to the staff to the many invaluable volunteers like LeFils, himself — who really make Camping World Stadium an incredible destination.
“It may not be a biological family, but it is a family,” LeFils said. “They are very dedicated and loyal to each other, and they are very loyal to the overall FCS vision. And it shows. They’ve grown, they’ve excelled and they’ve brought higher and higher levels of athletic competition to our town.”