Renovation approved for Citrus Bowl Stadium
Posted on June 26, 2012 by Jacob Bunn
ORLANDO – City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs announced an agreement that allows the renovations of Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – home to the Capital One and Russell Athletic bowls – to begin design work immediately with construction beginning no later than January of 2014.
Both mayors agree that pieces are now in place for Orlando to compete for business at the highest levels as The City Beautiful will now be home to a revitalized stadium, Street & Smith Sports Business Journal’s Arena of the Year in the Amway Center, and the state-of-the-art Dr. Phillips Center, which just recently began construction downtown.
“I think our community, if we have the right facilities, can host anything that the world has to offer,” said Dyer. “Beginning construction on the renovation will (help) ensure that we don’t lose the place in line that we have with our bowl games and, as most of you know, the postseason for NCAA college football is changing very rapidly and we want to make sure that Florida Citrus Sports has every advantage as it goes into negotiations.”
Orlando boasts a total package that no other college football destination can – one of the best airports in the world, nearly 450 hotels with 115,000 guest rooms in a service-oriented environment and world-class entertainment and attractions. With over 52 million visitors, Orlando is the most-visited destination in the U.S. and has the infrastructure to accommodate large events. Most recently, the city successfully hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star game.
Soon to feature a stadium that will match its other, established, accommodations, Orlando is positioning itself as a premier destination for neutral-site sports and entertainment.
“We’re united by our desire to make this a better community,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “We are committing over half a billion dollars of TDT (Tourist Development Tax) revenues for the three venues.”
Fans will now be able to finish their Orlando Bowl Week trip in a facility that rivals what they experience in the rest of their week in town. Not only will their event take place in a modern facility, but there is also a planned Church Street Streetscape which will revitalize the area leading from downtown to the stadium, as well as the addition of the $615 million Sun Rail transit system which will offer fans additional transportation options.
“Our community has a way of pulling together and rising to meet challenges to the competitiveness of our region,” said Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan. “Our residents, elected, and community leaders want to compete at the highest level and these major investments in our sports and entertainment infrastructure, in what is already the No. 1 tourist destination in the world, will send a message that Orlando is open for business.”
Among the items announced by the mayors on Monday was the removal of the “Jacobs Amendment,” now allowing the city to issue bonds for the stadium sooner than anticipated. The city will issue bonds using revenue from the Tourist Development Tax (TDT), leaving property taxes untouched as a source of credit. The planned renovation will take down the stadium’s lower bowl – leaving the upper decks that are the most-recent additions to the stadium – and will give Orlando what will amount to a nearly completely refurbished stadium.
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