Orlando’s Camping World Stadium is set for $60 million in renovations, a project that could build off existing momentum in drawing events to the facility.
Used for the annual Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl games–as well as a wide variety of other events–Camping World Stadium did receive a $207 million renovation in recent years. However, financial conditions at the time resulted in some amenities being stripped from the final project, so officials had more recently been in discussions about possibility investing more in the facility.
Those plans are moving forward, with the Orange County Commission giving final approval to the funds last week. Among the changes that are expected to take place at Camping World Stadium include upgraded restrooms and concessions on the upper level, club-level improvements, a connection for the east and west concourses, and more. Camping World Stadium has had success since the most recent wave of renovations in hosting major events, including the NFL Pro Bowl, and Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan believes that helped advance discussions about the upcoming upgrades. More from the Orlando Sentinel:
Before the first round of upgrades, Hogan spent years lobbying city and county leaders for funding to upgrade the stadium. Economic improvement helped, but Hogan also said Camping World Stadium’s recent history hosting marquee events after the first wave of renovation work made city and county leaders a lot more receptive to spending more on the venue.
“I think they really had a chance to experience some of what was possible with this major sporting events and understand how much it can mean to the community,” he said, noting the Pro Bowl, Wrestlemania, the Camping World Kickoff and numerous other events. “Sports tourism is booming and you can’t easily buy the level of exposure the city gets from the broadcast, social media and overall publicity that comes from hosting these events.”
The money comes from the county’s tourist-development tax, also known as the hotel tax. The tax is a 6% assessment added to the cost of short-term lodging at a hotel, resort or through Airbnb in Orange County. The tax has brought in more than $238 million in 2018….
Hogan said the stadium proposal would improve surrounding parking areas, modernize upper-level restrooms and concession areas, and connect the east and west concourses.
In theory, the renovation could boost Camping World Stadium’s case for other high-profile events down the road, perhaps including the 2026 World Cup and a future College Football Playoff championship game. The renovations could be completed as early as next year.
Image courtesy Camping World Stadium.
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