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Camping World Stadium renovations receive initial approval

An Orange County task force has approved $800 million in Tourist Development Tax spending on Camping World Stadium renovations, as more bowl games and high-profile concerts are sought for Orlando.

The Orange County Tourism Task Force was asked to recommend projects to the Orange County Commission for funding from the Tourism Development Tax. The task force came through with a set of rankings, with recommendations to fund the top five, which included Camping World Stadium renovations at the top. The Tourist Development Tax is generated from local hotel/motel taxes and are a prime source of sports-development funds within Florida. Florida Citrus Sports, owners of the former Citrus Bowl, tapped into this funding mechanism in 2014 to spend $200 million on stadium improvements.

This time around Florida Citrus Sports is seeking to spend $800 million on a variety of stadium improvements, including a new roof a la Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, new meeting space designed to attract 100 events a year, and upgraded amenities that could attract college football championships, high-profile concerts, and international soccer play. This would be accomplished by the removal of the upper deck, but Florida Citrus Sports anticipates the addition of a few thousand seats as a result of the renovations. From WESH:

But the main goal is to make Camping World Stadium a college football championship-caliber stadium that can also draw the top concerts that promoters usually send somewhere else.

Hogan says Miami gets that business because of a roof.

“They got World Cup. We got passed over for World Cup. We tried to get Army Navy, got passed over for that. We’re not getting the (big) concerts and shows. They’ve had multiple Super Bowls and national championships,” Hogan said.

“Again, we don’t need a three billion dollar stadium to do it. A roof has done it for Miami. A roof would do it for Orlando,” Hogan said.

Currently Camping World Stadium is home to the Pop-Tarts Bowl and Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.

The final decision rests with Orange County Commissioners, who are not bound by the task force recommendations. Final recommendations to the commissioners are due July 18.

Rendering courtesy Florida Citrus Sports.

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