Sun 27 February 2022 | 14:30

Top facts about Camping World Stadium, With a Rough Start in the Past

Here in this post, we will be covering all the major points and information concerning this stadium which is located in Florida.

Camping World Stadium is a sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida. It is located in the West Lakes district of Downtown Orlando, west of new sports and entertainment facilities such as the Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the Exploria Stadium.

It was first known as Orlando Stadium in 1936 and has since been renamed the Tangerine Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl. The stadium is owned and operated by the city of Orlando. The Citrus Bowl and the Cheez-It Bowl are currently held at Camping World Stadium.

Other college football games held there include the Florida Classic, which features Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman, the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, and the Camping World Kickoff. The stadium was designed for football and has already hosted various alternate-league football clubs.

It was the home of the Orlando City SC, a USL Pro soccer team, from 2011 until 2013. It was the home of the UCF Knights football team from 1979 through 2006. It was one of nine venues for the FIFA World Cup in 1994. The NFL's Pro Bowl has been held four times at the stadium.

The stadium had 65,000 permanent seats prior to the 2014 makeover. The north end zone of the lower bowl lacked permanent seating, though temporary bleachers could be installed there if necessary. The last time the temporary bleachers were used was for the 2005 Capital One Bowl, which drew 70,229 fans.

Due to the addition of chair-back seats in the lower bowl and Plaza Level after the refurbishment, the seating capacity was lowered to 60,219 people. Bleachers are still present on the upper deck. To increase the capacity to 65,194, temporary bleachers can be placed at the Plaza level in place of the Party Deck.

Top facts about Camping World Stadium, Mainly Hosting College Football

We will be talking about the history of the stadium, as well as the construction and upgrades and of course the competitions and performances it has hosted so far.

Camping World Stadium Football Competitions

Several short-lived professional football teams have called Camping World Stadium home. The Orlando Panthers of the Continental Football League called the stadium home from 1966 to 1970.

The Tangerine Bowl hosted the World Football League's Florida Blazers for their last season in 1974.

In 1985, the Orlando Renegades of the United States Football League (USFL) competed for one season.

The Citrus Bowl was home to the WLAF's Orlando Thunder for two seasons in the early 1990s, as well as the XFL's Orlando Rage in 2001 and the UFL's Florida Tuskers, who occupied the stadium for two seasons from 2009 until moving to Virginia Beach as the Virginia Destroyers in 2011.

The Lingerie Football League's Orlando Fantasy moved to the stadium shortly after, having previously used the UCF Arena.

From 2017 to 2020, the stadium hosted the Pro Bowl, the National Football League's all-star game. The stadium has hosted seven NFL preseason games, one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

Several college football events, including numerous bowl games, have been held at the stadium.

Since 1947 (with the exception of 1973), the stadium has hosted a bowl game, presently known as the Citrus Bowl, which is usually held on January 1 or 2. Throughout its history, the bowl has been known by numerous names. 

The Florida Classic, an annual matchup between Bethune–Cookman University and Florida A&M University, has been held at the stadium since 1997.

The venue has hosted a December bowl game since 2001. Due to sponsorship changes, it was known by various different names before becoming the Cheez-It Bowl in May 2020, one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

The East-West Shrine Game was held at the stadium in 2010 and 2011, before shifting to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Cure Bowl has been held at the stadium since 2015.

For the 2019 season, the bowl game was relocated to Orlando City Stadium; however, it returned in 2020.

The 1979 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship Game, the 2005 C-USA Championship Game, and the 2016 ACC Championship Game were all held at the stadium. Winter Park, Florida's Rollins College was the first college to play on what was then known as Orlando Stadium.

Camping World Stadium hosts the Florida High School Athletic Association state football championships. For decades, until the end of the 2011 season, the varsity football team from nearby Jones High School utilized Camping World Stadium as their regular-season home field.

On August 31, 2012, the school began playing home football games on their own field.

Camping World Stadium Hosting Soccer Games & Other Events

It was the venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and the playing surface was large enough for international soccer matches. The average attendance per match was over 60,000 in five of the matchups. The stadium hosted Olympic soccer matches in both the men's and women's competitions in 1996, one of the

Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

In 1997, it hosted the Orlando Sundogs of the USISL A-League. In 1998, it was also the site of the Major League Soccer All-Star Game.

Orlando City SC

, a USL Pro League soccer team, called the stadium home.

The club's investor group was given an expansion team in

Major League Soccer

in 2013. While Camping World Stadium was being renovated, they played the 2014 season in USL Pro at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.

Fifth Third Bank had the naming rights to the pitch for Orlando City matches during the 2013 season. During those games, it was known as Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.

On September 6, 2013, Orlando City played their final USL Pro match at Camping World Stadium. They defeated the Charlotte Eagles 7–4 in front of a crowd of 20,886 to win the USL Pro Championship.

An international friendly between the women's teams of the United States and


was the last soccer event hosted at Camping World Stadium before it was renovated. In front of a crowd of 20,274, the United States won the match 4–1.

For the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Orlando City, now a member of Major League Soccer, returned to Camping World Stadium. While the Orlando City (now Exploria) Stadium was being built, the Orlando Pride, a National Women's Soccer League 2016 expansion team owned by Orlando City SC, played in Camping World Stadium.

In June 2016, Camping World Stadium was one of the venues for the Copa America Centenario.


vs Costa Rica on June 4, Bolivia vs


on June 6, and Brazil vs Haiti on June 8 were the three group stage matches held there.

WrestleMania XXIV, the 2008 edition of WWE's flagship professional wrestling pay-per-view, was held in the stadium on March 30, 2008, another one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

The first WrestleMania to be hosted in Florida, and the second to be staged entirely outdoors since WrestleMania IX at Caesars Palace, it drew a crowd of 74,635 people, the largest in stadium history. It was anticipated that $51.5 million in revenue was generated for the local economy.

WrestleMania 33, which took place on April 2, 2017, was WWE's return to Camping World Stadium. One of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium is that WWE claimed a record attendance of 75,245, surpassing WrestleMania XXIV's total.

Two Billy Graham Crusades took place at the Citrus Bowl, the most recent of which was in 1983. It held part of the football (soccer) preliminary matches of the 1996 Summer Olympics. In 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2003, Drum Corps International staged its annual World Championships at the stadium four times.

Every year, a track similar to the one at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2008 and 2009 was featured during the Feld Entertainment-promoted Monster Jam performances hosted there. The 2014 Monster Jam event, which took place on January 25, was the final event held at Camping World Stadium before its reconstruction began.

For numerous years, the stadium has hosted the Corporate 5K Orlando road event. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the stadium hosted Rock Super Bowl festivals. On May 10–11, 2019, the stadium hosted the Monster Jam World Finals XX.

The Bands of America Orlando Regional Championship has been held at the stadium every fall since 2018, with the exception of 2020, when it was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Citrus Bowl (then known as Camping World Stadium) was used as a filming site for Adam Sandler's 1998 comedy The Waterboy, one of the

Top facts about Camping World Stadium

. The Citrus Bowl served as both the fictional University of Louisiana Cougars' home stadium and the site of the film's climactic Bourbon Bowl game.

Coach, featuring Craig T. Nelson as Coach Hayden Fox, featured outside images of the Citrus Bowl at the time. The Citrus Bowl was the fictional Orlando Breakers' home stadium in the show, which Coach Fox oversaw throughout the series' final two seasons (1995–1997).

The change reflected the real-life expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and coincided with a production shift to Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios).

Camping World Stadium History

During the Great Depression, construction on the stadium began in 1936 as a project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. The stadium was built to the east of Tinker Field, a baseball park that opened in 1914.

The stadium was renamed Orlando Stadium and opened in 1936 with a seating capacity of 8,900. On January 1, 1947, the first college football bowl game was held. In the inaugural Tangerine Bowl, Catawba defeated Maryville 31–6.

In 1952, 2,000 additional seats were added. The Tangerine Bowl was the name of the stadium during this time. In 1968, 5,000 more seats were added, as well as the first press box. An expansion project from 1974 to 1976 increased the seating capacity to 50,612, including a 3,600-seat upper deck on the east sidelines.

However, the project quickly became a public embarrassment as well as a potential architectural and engineering failure. The first major game at the expanded stadium was a regular-season matchup between Florida and Miami on November 27, 1976.

When fans stood up and applauded during the game, the newly constructed upper deck swayed noticeably, one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium. The deck shook and trembled, and the fences and railings shook and creaked, giving patrons in those sections an unpleasant feeling.

About a month later, during the Tangerine Bowl game in 1976, the swaying and shaking became noticeable again. Some fans vowed never to sit in those seats again, while others refused to return to the stadium at all because of the swaying. Engineering studies, as well as legal inquiries, soon revealed several design flaws, haste, and shortcuts in the stadium's construction. 

The upper deck was declared a failure despite the fact that it was structurally solid and met all building requirements. Inadequate access to facilities on the higher deck, gaps between portions that necessitated obstructive barriers, and the fact that the upper deck was built at such an angle that it had poor sightlines were among the other issues.

Meanwhile, unsightly I-beams built to support the upper deck had now blocked formerly unobstructed seats in the lower deck.

After the upper deck incident, which was fiercely criticized by governmental officials, the media, and fans, the stadium's reputation was severely harmed, another one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium. The fact that UCF was planning to move to the stadium in 1979 added to the confusion.

The stadium's engineers, architects, and designers eventually agreed to pay the city $900,500, which was quickly appropriated for further renovations. In May 1980, the infamous steel east upper deck was demolished.

In 1989, a capacity of 65,438 was established after several new enhancements and a $30 million makeover that built new concrete upper decks on both sides. The Florida Department of Citrus became the facility's title sponsor in 1983, for a fee of $250,000.

Contoured seating, two escalators, and a new 107-foot (33 m) wide scoreboard/video screen were all added to the stadium between 1999 and 2002. A new sound system was installed, as well as two full-color ribbon displays on the upper decks. As a result of the expansion, the upper deck now overhangs Tinker Field's right-field area, albeit at a considerable height.

Camping World Stadium Upgrades & Reconstructions

By 2005, Orlando-area government officials and officials from the University of Central Florida (UCF) expressed dissatisfaction with the facility's condition and lack of revenue, given the fact that UCF was the facility's main leasing tenant and got very little cash from football games.

Due to a lack of agreement on how to address these issues, UCF was forced to explore relocating or spending a significant amount of money to repair the facility on its own dime.

Furthermore, the stadium's capacity was deemed too high for UCF, giving the impression that the stadium was empty despite the attendance of up to 30,000–40,000 people per game.

The 2005 C-USA Championship Game against


set an all-time attendance record of 51,978. In addition, the stadium was almost 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the university's main campus in East Orlando, with traffic delays of up to a half-hour.

UCF officials, backed by university president John Hitt, decided to build a new on-campus stadium in 2005, which opened in time for the 2007 season.

The Capital One Bowl bid to become a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game in 2004, but due to the stadium's outdated condition, it was not picked. Orlando officials began looking into stadium restoration projects in 2004. 

The ACC Championship Game was also bid on by Camping World Stadium, but it was beaten by Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The lack of new luxury boxes, bench seats, and capacity were the main factors for losing the bids.

On September 29, 2006, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced a $175 million makeover of Camping World Stadium, bringing the hopes for the stadium closer to reality, one of the

Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

It was part of the $1.1 billion "Triple Crown for Downtown," which includes a new $480 million arena for the Orlando Magic, a new $375 million performing arts center, and upgrades to Camping World Stadium.

Enclosed concourses on the east and west sides of the stadium, as well as expansions to the north side that would ultimately complete the lower bowl, are seen in concept drawings for possible improvements.

The Orlando City Council approved the Orlando/Orange County Interlocal Agreement on August 6, 2007. The Great Recession of 2007–08, however, had a significant impact on the plans.

After the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl and 2010 Capital One Bowl were plagued by poor field conditions that resulted in two football player injuries, the natural grass surface was replaced with AstroTurf Gameday Grass 3D in 2010. 

The state of the stadium had once again triggered a reassessment of the situation, another one of the Top facts about Camping World Stadium.

Finally, in May 2013, it was revealed that the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium would be reconstructed in 2014 for less than $200 million.

As of March 2014, the cost estimate was US$207 million. The upper-level seating of the stadium was preserved, while the lower bowl structure was removed.

Two 360-degree concourses, a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) plaza deck ("Party Deck") in the north end zone, 41,000 all-new lower bowl seats with six additional inches of legroom and chairbacks, multiple giant video displays, new team facilities including locker rooms, training rooms, and attached media, new stadium operations facilities to allow better efficiency in food service, security, first aid, and maintenance, and new concession stands are among the features of the newly reconstructed stadium.

The "Plaza level" is the new name for the new mezzanine. The upper deck, once known as the "300" level, has been renamed the "200" level.

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source: SportMob

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