Jul 27, 2007

Stadium Renovations Approved By Local Government

The Board of Orange County Commissioners approved a $175 million Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium renovation – along with a new arena/events center and a new performing arts center – on Thursday night by a vote of 5-2. This vote, along with a 6-1 approval from the Orlando City Council on Monday, greenlights a long-awaited and much-needed upgrade to the 70-year-old facility.

Since first being built in 1936, the Citrus Bowl has enjoyed several additions – the most recent being the upper decks in 1989 – but never a full or partial renovation. The funding plan by city and county officials will allow the stadium to undergo major changes in the next 4-5 years. Florida Citrus Sports’ renovation plan calls for the entire lower bowl of the stadium to be demolished and rebuilt with several fan-friendly upgrades in mind.

Those include:

  • Wider seats
  • Wider aisles / more space between rows
  • Increased and more modern concession facilities
  • Increased and more modern bathrooms
  • Increased handicap seating
  • Additional luxury suites (approx. 10 more)
  • Added “club” premium seating area (approx. capacity: 4,000)

In addition, the new facility will include improved locker rooms, an expansive ballroom/banquet hall adjacent to the luxury suite area and ampitheater-style seating in the south end zone to accomodate outdoor concerts.

The renovation is great news for sports fans nationwide. Not only will the Citrus Bowl provide a better experience to fans visiting Orlando for the Capital One Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl or Walt Disney World Florida Classic presented by State Farm, but several top-tier college programs have already shown their interest in visiting Central Florida for neutral-site games. Notre Dame could potentially open the renovated stadium in 2011, and will return again in 2014. Florida State has agreed to play a game in either 2012 or 2013. Other programs, such as defending BCS national champion Florida, have confirmed interest in playing in Orlando.

With a new Citrus Bowl on the horizon, joined by a brand-new arena and a brand-new performing arts center, Orlando continues to grow as a city, benefitting both its residents and its millions of annual visitors. As an organization, Florida Citrus Sports is dedicated to increasing community spirit and pride, promoting tourism, stimulating economic development and ultimately benefiting charities, educational institutions and the quality of life in Central Florida. The approved renovations will allow us to continue to pursue that goal for years to come.

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