SBD/July 3, 2013/Facilities

Citrus Bowl Renovations Could Rise $18-27M Above Current Budget Of $190M

Orange County already has committed $155M to the Citrus Bowl renovations
As the City of Orlando “prepares to put the finishing touches on the redesign" for the Florida Citrus Bowl, stadium boosters said that budget "of about $190 million isn't enough,” according to a front-page piece by Schlueb & Damron of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Execs are “quietly lobbying for another $18 million to $27 million.” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said, "We're trying to make sure that we leave ourselves with maximum flexibility and get a first-rate stadium when we're finished." Schlueb & Damron report plans call for “demolishing much of the stadium, including the entire lower bowl, and then rebuilding.” When the work is “finished in early 2015, about 80 percent of the facility will be new.” Florida Citrus Sports, the nonprofit group that hosts events at the stadium, said that it “may need more money to add features to the redesign that would make the stadium competitive when it comes to bidding for big events -- including a future BCS National Championship Game.” Dyer said that there are "‘eight to 10’ potential additions under consideration, including more permanent end-zone seating and an extension of the superstructure in the south end zone to create a concourse that could later be converted into extra suites and club seats.” The additional funds “would largely come from the tourist-development tax collected on hotel rooms -- a tax that is controlled by Orange County.” The county “already has committed about $155 million to the renovations, including extra money to cover cost increases caused by delays.” Of the $18M, $12M “would come from the tourist tax.” Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said that the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation would “raise the other $6 million through private contributions” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/3).
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