After a speedy, yet thorough reconstruction that transformed the 78-year old stadium, the new Orlando Citrus Bowl officially opened with a dedication and ribbon cutting on November 19.
Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, City of Orlando Commissioners, representatives from Florida Citrus Sports and other Central Florida leaders to cut the ribbon to open the 65,000-seat stadium.
The massive renovation project, which kicked off in late January, completely demolished the stadium’s entire lower bowl and the results are certainly noticeable. Approximately 90 percent of the stadium is new and was designed to enhance the fan experience.
Highlights include lower bowl seats with chair backs and added legroom, wide concourses, a 20,000-square-foot plaza deck, multiple large video boards and numerous concession options.
“Today a new chapter begins as we create new memories and unforgettable experiences in this iconic venue,” Mayor Dyer said.
The stadium’s first event is set for Saturday when the Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M football teams meet in the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic. A pair of college football bowl games – the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – are scheduled for December.
The renovations will allow Orlando to host other signature events, including the new Orlando Kickoff Game, which was announced following the ribbon cutting. Florida State and Ole Miss will meet in the inaugural game on September 5, 2016 and the matchup will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Residents can tour the reconstructed venue on Sunday, December 14 during a free community open house.
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