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  • Writer's pictureChris Green

Camping World Stadium - Citrus Bowl

Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.57

Camping World Stadium 1 Citrus Bowl Pl Orlando, FL 32805

Year Opened: 1936 Capacity: 65,000


Florida’s Other New Year’s Day Matchup

The annual Citrus Bowl matchup is steeped in college football history, having been around since 1947. While many may look to the typical “New Year’s Six” bowl games for college football greatness, the Citrus Bowl has been one of the other top bowl games during the season that commonly brings two of the top programs together for a titanic clash. Coupled with a long history in the Central Florida community, the Citrus Bowl offers something for everyone in the family, and is arguably one of the best ways to spend New Year’s.

Food & Beverage 4

Finding food at Camping World Stadium is easy. For those in the suite levels, the food options are incredibly plentiful. The main suite on the recently renovated west side of the stadium features a full-service bar and buffet, and outside of that are several bars with comfortable tables, chairs, and couches.

In the main concourse the north end zone features a taco stand as well as some other food options. For the majority of food vendors a quality hot dog will cost you $4.50, while a chef’s choice game day hot dog costs $7; nachos are $5, popcorn is $4.50, peanuts run $4.75, and a large pretzel costs $4. In addition, arepas are available all over the stadium for fans to get a taste of Florida. But the best food option remains anything from the 4 Rivers BBQ booths, a local barbecue chain that has gained popularity in recent years thanks to its quality meats and sauces.

If you’re a nacho fan looking for something bigger, the Rio Grande Pork Nachos cost $10, and include shredded lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes, and can also have chicken added for no charge. A rice bowl runs just $10 with pork or chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes. A cheeseburger with fries costs $12, as do chicken fingers with fries. A spicy buffalo chicken sandwich with pepper jack cheese and fries also runs $12, while a side of fries by itself costs $4.50.

For beverages, a regular beer (Bud Light or Budweiser) costs $8, a large beer runs $11, and an import beer (Stella Artois) costs $11. Bottled water runs $5, while a bottled soda will cost you $5.50.

Atmosphere 5

The atmosphere at Camping World Stadium is electric, and thanks to the Citrus Bowl being a game between two power conference foes with great records, you are bound to get a solid matchup that excites even the most modest of fans.

The pre-game pageantry of the band performances, the exciting game action, and the feel of a bowl-game matchup all make the Citrus Bowl an exciting game to be a part of. There is also plenty of beautiful scenery, with downtown Orlando just to the east and lakes to the north and south of the stadium. The upper deck is open, and for good reason, as the game regularly attracts crowds that can reach nearly 60,000 fans. Being in Florida in January also means the weather is almost always perfect, rarely getting cooler than the 50s. The fans erupt with every big play, and the pageantry of college football is on full display.

Neighborhood 5

What can you say about downtown Orlando? With Camping World Stadium within walking distance of downtown, fans can park in any of the various lots and garages downtown, then walk to and from the stadium along Church Street, the hub of Orlando’s rebirth as a foodie and entertainment destination. The City of Orlando has become a sports-thirsty destination over the last few years – with the explosion in popularity of Orlando City SC and a renewed interest in the Orlando Magic, the City Beautiful loves sports.

There are suburbs to the west of Camping World Stadium, with the downtown city center to the east. There are also tons of hotels nearby, and since the venue sits next to I-4, getting to other resorts and hotels in the greater Orlando area is not hard to do either.

If you want to stay somewhere nearby, Aloft Downtown Orlando and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando are right in the middle of downtown. For food, the Orlando sports faithful flock to Lion’s Pride as well as Schumann’s Jager Haus. For attractions, Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando are both mere minutes south of the downtown area.

Fans 5

Camping World Stadium holds 65,000 fans, and almost every year all the seats are packed. The crowd still explodes with cheers, and the event is one of the most family-friendly games around.

With the teams being from Power 5 conferences the fan bases travel very well, leading to a packed crowd of over 60,000 screaming with fervor for their favorite team on the field. The electricity that resonates through the stands makes this a game that fans look forward to attending. The tailgating pre-game is also widespread, with parking areas several blocks away playing host to big parties all the way up to kickoff. But the best part is that the fans are a mix of traveling fans and locals, as the community embraces the game fully regardless of the competitors on the field.

Access 5

Camping World Stadium sits just a stone’s throw from I-4 and is literally just off the 408 highway. Getting there is not difficult from the local roads either, as most are multi-lane, and signage is well placed for the parking areas.

Parking on site is plentiful and easy to find. For those without a parking pass, you can find parking in various nearby parking lots and from those selling parking in their front yards. Public transport is also available in the area, making getting to Camping World Stadium an easy process.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets to the Citrus Bowl are likely to go quickly, with the game selling out most premiere tickets right after the teams are announced. You may also pay a bit more for this game, both at face value and on the secondary market, due to the quality of the teams participating.

Getting the experience of a college bowl game is always enjoyable for sports fans in general, and getting to watch one in Florida in the winter makes it even better. Orlando is blessed with great weather, never too cold or too hot in January, meaning you will be comfortable no matter where you are from.

Extras 4

The Citrus Bowl features plenty of in-game awards given away to athletes and local volunteers. Also, the pre-game and halftime performances feature both of the school’s bands, adding to the college pageantry fans know and love, and there is also a pre-game fan fest that includes a pre-game concert, photo opportunities with mascots, band performances, VIP tents, and interactive displays. Finally, the Citrus Bowl also features the post-game trophy presentation that championship events are known for, completing the championship feel of the event for fans in the stands.

Final Thoughts

The Citrus Bowl is one of three bowl games in Orlando, and while it may not be as inexpensive as the Cure Bowl, it is no less worthy of your attendance; the marquee matchup at the Citrus Bowl makes for a great game product on the field – it is the gold standard for Bowl Season in Central Florida.

Camping World Stadium is also much more enjoyable since its recent renovation, and that means you will feel a lot more comfortable during your visit. Fans often marvel at the comfort of the facility and its ease of movement throughout the concourse – this is definitely one of the top sporting events in the whole state of Florida every year, if not the country.

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