Citrus Bowl Might Get Much-Needed Facelift
Without UCF On Schedule, Top Teams May Play At Bowl During Season
POSTED: 5:59 pm EDT April 26, 2005
UPDATED: 6:28 pm EDT April 26, 2005
ORLANDO, Fla. -- People who live near the University of Central Florida told Orange County commissioners Tuesday why they don't think a football stadium should be built on the university campus.
After the meeting, residents agreed not to fight the construction if the stadium is built in the southwest corner of the campus, WESH 2 News reported.
But right now, it seems UCF officials want it in the north-central part of campus.
When UCF first announced it might build its own stadium, the city of Orlando was still hoping the school would consider staying at its current home field, the Citrus Bowl, near downtown Orlando.
But it's a different story now, and the city has new design plans in the push to overhaul the region's premier football stadium.
To say the home of the Capitol One Bowl is old is an understatement. Franklin D. Roosevelt was president when the Citrus Bowl was built in 1936.
Tom Mickle, the president of the Florida Citrus Sports Association, said his organization wants to peel the outdated skin off of the Citrus Bowl. He showed WESH 2 News reporter Greg Fox new plans that include outdoor club seating, chairback seats to replace the old benches, new end zone seats and air-conditioned luxury boxes.
The city also envisions hotels, shops and restaurants around the bowl.
With UCF talking about plans for building its own football stadium on campus, you might think the city and the Citrus Sports Association would be against that. But officials are starting to think that UCF moving out could be a good idea. Clearing the Knights from the schedule would give the city more room to draw top teams during the regular season.
"To attract things like an Army-Navy game, a Florida State neutral site game, a Notre Dame neutral site, all those are going to require a better facility," Mickle said.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is thinking even bigger.
"I think we would be very viable for a Super Bowl, and I don't think it is out of the question that some day we might be an NFL city," Dyer said.
Those big dreams come with a big price tag. Overhauling the Citrus Bowl could top $170 million.
The Florida Citrus Sports Association expects to have a financing plan for a stadium renovation by the end of summer.