Citrus Bowl

Citrus Bowl
Florida Citrus Bowl
An aerial view of the Citrus Bowl looking South
Former names Orlando Stadium (1936-1946)
Tangerine Bowl (1947-1975)
Citrus Bowl (1976)
Orlando Stadium (1977-1982)
Florida Citrus Bowl (1983-present)
Location 1610 W. Church Street, Orlando, Florida 32805
Coordinates 28°32′21″N 81°24′10″W / 28.53917°N 81.40278°W / 28.53917; -81.40278Coordinates: 28°32′21″N 81°24′10″W / 28.53917°N 81.40278°W / 28.53917; -81.40278
Broke ground 1936
Opened 1936
Owner City of Orlando
Operator Orlando Centroplex
Surface AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D 2010 to present
Grass 1936 to 2009
Construction cost $115,000
$38 million (renovation)

($1.82 million in 2011 dollars[1])
Renovations: ($67.3 million in 2011 dollars[1])
Capacity 70,000
Capital One Bowl (NCAA) (1947-1972, 1974-present)
Champs Sports Bowl (NCAA) (2001-present)
East-West Shrine Game (NCAA) (CIS) (2010-2011)
Florida Classic (NCAA) (1997-present)
UCF Knights football (NCAA) (1979-2006)
Orlando Broncos (SFL) (1962-1963)
Orlando Panthers (CFL) (1966-1970)
Florida Blazers (WFL) (1974)
Orlando Americans (AFA) (1981)
Orlando Renegades (USFL) (1985)
Orlando Thunder (WLAF) (1991-1992)
Orlando Sundogs (A-League) (1997)
FIFA World Cup (1994)
Drum Corps International (1996-1998, 2003)
Orlando Rage (XFL) (2001)
WrestleMania XXIV (WWE) (2008)
Jones High School football
Florida Tuskers (UFL) (2009-2010)
MEAC/SWAC Challenge (2008-present)
Orlando City S.C. (USL Pro) (2011-present)

The Florida Citrus Bowl (formerly Orlando Stadium, Tangerine Bowl and Citrus Bowl) is a stadium in Orlando, Florida, USA, built for football, which currently seats around 70,000 people.

Its main events are the Capital One Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl and Monster Jam. It also hosts the annual Florida Classic between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman and the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. It was also the former home of the Florida Tuskers, of the 2009 UFL.

From 1979-2006, it served as the home of the UCF Knights football team. It was also one of the nine venues used for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.



The stadium seats 70,000 people with temporary bleachers in the north end zone. The temporary bleachers were last used for the 2005 Capital One Bowl, which had an attendance of 70,229. The Walt Disney World Florida Classic, a rivalry football game between Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman is held annually in November. The 2003 game held the stadium's all-time record for attendance of 73,358. WrestleMania XXIV broke the record with an attendance of 74,635.


The stadium opened in 1936 with a capacity of 8,900. The first college football game was played on January 1, 1947. Catawba defeated Maryville 31–6. Two thousand seats were added in 1952. Five thousand more seats were added in 1968, along with the first press box. From 1974–76 the capacity was raised to 52,000. The current capacity of 65,438 was established in 1989, after a $38 million renovation that added the upper decks. In 1983, the Florida Department of Citrus was added as a title sponsor for the facility, at a price of $250,000. From 1999 to 2002, key stadium improvements included the addition of contour seating, two escalators, and a new 107-foot (33 m) wide video screen. A new sound system, along with two full-color displays along the upper decks, was also added.


The Citrus Bowl has been home field to several short-lived professional football teams. In 1974, the Florida Blazers of the World Football League played their only season in existence at Tangerine Stadium. The USFL's Orlando Renegades played one season in 1985. The Orlando Thunder of the WLAF called the Citrus Bowl home in their two-season existence (1991–1992), the XFL's Orlando Rage played there in 2001, and most recent the UFL's Florida Tuskers, who played 2 seasons (2009-2010) before moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia as the Virginia Destroyers in 2011.

Several National Football League preseason football games have been held at the stadium, most recently between the Buccaneers and Jets in 1997. Several neutral field regular season college football games have been held at the facility; notable games include Florida vs. Mississippi State and Florida State vs. Notre Dame on November 12, 1994.

The varsity football team from Jones High School also uses the Citrus Bowl as a regular season home field, as it does not have a home stadium to call its own; the school has an agreement with the City of Orlando to use the facility.


The playing surface is large enough for use in international soccer matches, and it was a venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. In five matches, attendance averaged over 60,000 per match. In 1996, Olympic soccer matches in both the men's and women's competitions were held at the stadium.

It hosted the USISL A-League Orlando Sundogs in 1997. It also hosted the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in 1998. Its most recent high-level soccer game was on January 13, 2008, between Chivas de Guadalajara of the Mexican Premier Division and Deportivo Cali of Colombian Professional Football. Chivas won, 2–1, before 15,121 fans.[2]

The stadium is currently the home of Orlando City S.C., a soccer team in the USL Pro league. The investment group that owns the team is looking for a future expansion team in Major League Soccer.


On April 14, 1979, the "Tangerine Bowl" hosted the Florida World Music Festival. The concert was commonly known as "Florida Jam", named after previous festivals in other states like California Jam and Texas Jam. Acts included Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Frank Marino, Mahogany Rush, Brownsville Station and Blackfoot. Ted Nugent joined Aerosmith on stage during their encore and played a couple of songs with the band.

It was also the only venue where Van Halen and The Rolling Stones played together live, which occurred in October 1981.

Metallica and Guns N' Roses brought the Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour to the venue on September 2, 1992, with Faith No More as their opening act.

WrestleMania XXIV

An attendance record setting 74,635 fans at the Citrus Bowl for WrestleMania XXIV.

On March 21, 2007, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Central Florida Sports Commission President John Saboor held a press conference at the Orlando City Hall Rotunda announcing that the Citrus Bowl will host WrestleMania XXIV on March 30, 2008. Buddy Dyer and John Saboor stated that after six months of negotiations with WWE, the Commission managed to successfully recruit the 24th edition of the annual event to the city of Orlando. World Wrestling Entertainment officials were in Orlando at the beginning of the year to tour the Orlando Centroplex.

WWE and the City of Orlando planned to host festivities that spanned over a five day period within the central Florida region bringing numerous branding opportunities and television coverage, leading up to the event at the Citrus Bowl.[3] Despite the risks of an outdoor show, WWE chairman Vince McMahon had announced that the "show will go on, regardless of the weather."[4] The Central Florida Sports Commission estimated WrestleMania XXIV would pump $25 million into the local economy while creating numerous jobs, and bring around 60,000 visitors to the city for the event.[5]

Tickets went on sale November 3, 2007.[6] Over 41,000 tickets were sold in 60 minutes, making WrestleMania XXIV the highest-grossing event in the history of the Citrus Bowl. In the end, 74,635 Fans attended the event, smashing the previous Citrus Bowl record. [7] [8] According to a study by Enigma Research Corp. of Toronto, the Citrus Bowl's record-breaking attendance of 74,635, consisting of people from 21 countries, all 50 states, and five Canadian provinces, ended up pumping an estimated $51.5 million, surpassing the projected $25 million, into the local economy and generated $1.8 million in local tax revenue.[9]

World Wrestling Entertainment CEO, Linda McMahon stated that WrestleMania could be brought back to the Citrus Bowl in the near future.

Other events

The Citrus Bowl was the site of two Billy Graham Crusades, the most recent of which took place in 1983.

During the 1996 Summer Olympics, it hosted some of the football preliminaries.[10]

Drum Corps International has held its annual World Championships at the Citrus Bowl four times in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2003

The Feld Entertainment-promoted Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam shows held there every year feature a track similar to the one at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The Corporate 5K Orlando road race has been based at the stadium for several years.

The AMA Supercross Series holds an annual spring event.


A view of the field during the inaugural C-USA Championship Game in 2005.

By 2005, Orlando-area government officials and University of Central Florida officials expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the facility, which led UCF to consider relocating, or spend considerable expense to upgrade the facility. While UCF was the primary leasing tenant for the facility, they received minimal revenue from football games. In addition, the stadium's capacity was seen as too large for UCF, leaving the stadium an appearance of being empty with attendance of as much as 30,000-40,000 people per game. UCF's all-time attendance record was only 51,978 for the 2005 C-USA Championship Game versus Tulsa. The stadium was also located over 10 miles from the university's main campus, with a travel time of up to a half hour due to traffic. UCF officials made the decision to leave the Citrus Bowl and to construct a new on-campus stadium called Bright House Networks Stadium, which opened for the 2007 season.

City of Orlando officials are currently exploring a stadium refurbishment project. In 2004, the Capital One Bowl bid to become a BCS game, but was not chosen, due to the stadium's aging condition. The Citrus Bowl also submitted a bid for the ACC Championship Game, but lost out to Jacksonville. The key reasons for losing the bids are the lack of modern luxury boxes, bench seating, and capacity.

The hopes for the Citrus Bowl became reality when, on September 29, 2006, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced an agreement on a $175-million expansion of the Citrus Bowl. It is part of the "Triple Crown for Downtown", a $1.1-billion plan to redo the Orlando Centroplex with a new $480-million arena for the Orlando Magic, a new $375-million performing arts center, and the Citrus Bowl improvements. Conceptual drawings for the possible improvements include enclosed concourses on the east and west sides of the stadium and additions to the north side that will finally complete the lower bowl.[11] The "Triple Crown for Downtown" agreement was approved by the Orlando City Council on July 26, 2007.

In 2010 the natural grass surface was replaced with AstroTurf Gameday Grass 3D after the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl and 2010 Capital One Bowl were marred by poor field conditions that led to two football player injuries.

Movies and television

The Citrus Bowl was a filming location for the 1998 Adam Sandler movie The Waterboy. In the film, the Citrus Bowl depicted both the home stadium of the fictional University of Louisiana Cougars as well as the venue of the climactic Bourbon Bowl game.

Exterior shots of the Citrus Bowl were used in the television series Coach, starring Craig T. Nelson as Coach Hayden Fox. In the show, the Citrus Bowl was the home stadium of the fictional Orlando Breakers franchise, which Coach Fox led during the series' final 2 seasons (1995–1997). The change, which coincided with a production move to Disney-MGM Studios, reflected the real-life expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.


  1. ^ a b Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  2. ^ Guadalajara 2-1 Deportivo Cali
  3. ^ "WrestleMania 24 Coming To Orlando.". Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  4. ^ "WrestleMania 24 will go on, even if it rains.". Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  5. ^ "Orlando To Host WrestleMania XXIV At Citrus Bowl In 2008.". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  6. ^ "What you need to know about WrestleMania XXIV". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Mayweather gets pretty payday in another ring - Los Angeles Times".,1,4818747.story. [dead link]
  8. ^ Columns -
  9. ^ "WrestleMania XXIV brought more than the Undertaker to Central Florida.". Orlando Sentinel. 2008-12-01.,0,259821.story. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  10. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 539.
  11. ^,0,1078507.story

External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Pro Player Stadium
Home of Champs Sports Bowl
2001 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
first stadium
Florida Field
Home of Capital One Bowl
1947 – 1972
1974 – present
Succeeded by
Florida Field
Preceded by
Memorial Stadium (Wichita Falls)
Host of the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship Game
Succeeded by
Hughes Stadium
Preceded by
First Stadium
Home of UCF Knights football
1979 – 2006
Succeeded by
Bright House Networks Stadium
Preceded by

Rich Stadium
Camp Randall Stadium
Host of the Drum Corps International
World Championship

1996 – 1998
Succeeded by

Camp Randall Stadium
Invesco Field at Mile High
Preceded by
Ford Field
Host of WrestleMania XXIV
Succeeded by
Reliant Stadium

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