Florida Citrus Sports-Enhancing The Quality Of Life

ELEVATOR PITCH

Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit event management organization dedicated to positively impacting the community both socially and economically, while enhancing the quality of life in Central Florida through its signature events.

The roots of the business date back to 1947, when Elks Lodge No. 1079 established the original Tangerine Bowl game in an effort to benefit a local children’s hospital. More than seven decades later, Florida Citrus Sports’ mission has only changed in scope.

The goal remains attracting and organizing some of the most highly-anticipated sporting events in America while working tirelessly to leverage its assets to benefit the community and those in need — particularly those living in the shadow of Camping World Stadium.

Among those world-class on-field offerings are:

  • The Citrus Bowl, the current incarnation of that original Tangerine Bowl game, which has evolved into a New Year’s Day classic matching top teams from the SEC and Big Ten or ACC;
  • The Camping World Bowl, Orlando’s second college bowl game since 2001, which features the top non-College Football Playoff selection from the ACC (inclusive of Notre Dame) and the second non-CFP pick from the Big 12 in one of the top matchups of the postseason;
  • The Camping World Kickoff, a neutral-site game during college football’s opening weekend formed in partnership with ESPN Events;
  • The Florida Blue Florida Classic, an annual November showdown between in-state rivals Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University that is regarded as the nation’s premier HBCU football game.

In addition to its regular stable of games, Florida Citrus Sports has also, in recent years, worked to bring additional bigtime bookings to Camping World Stadium, including preseason NFL football, top-tier international soccer matches and the NFL Pro Bowl.

Through these events and others, Florida Citrus Sports has helped establish Orlando as one of the nation’s premier destinations for neutral-site events, but the company’s role stretches well beyond the field.

Parked in the middle of one of Orlando’s most historic — and historically underserved — neighborhoods, Florida Citrus Sports saw an opportunity to effect change through the 2014 reconstruction of Camping World Stadium. The result was a partnership with LIFT Orlando, which was founded in 2012 in an effort to leverage the new facility and ignite a positive transformation in the area now known as West Lakes.

Using information provided by more than 1,400 residents during the largest urban survey in Orlando history, Florida Citrus Sports teamed with local business leaders to address the individual needs and physical environments impacting our most vulnerable citizens through four shared goals:

Mixed-Income Housing
Elevate the standard of living for the area’s lowest-income residents while providing the quality amenities necessary to realize a healthy mixed-income community.
Education Pipeline
Deliver a cradle-to-career education infrastructure that begins in early childhood and continues through job placement.
Community Wellness
Create high-quality facilities, programs, and services that enhance health and quality of life while honoring the neighborhood’s history.
Economic Viability
Attract entrepreneurship and employment opportunities that stimulate the economy, raise incomes and ensure long-term viability.

Today, Camping World Stadium serves as a beating heart in the 32805 zip code, spurring unprecedented growth and development within its own footprint. And with Florida Citrus Sports continuing to lead the charge as the city’s community quarterback, the futures of West Lakes and sports tourism in Orlando are ripe with promise.

Florida Citrus Sports

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