In most cities across the globe, a stadium is just that – a site for competition, a home for entertainment and a gathering place for fans, families, friends and neighbors.
There’s nothing wrong, of course, with a facility doing what it was built to do, and in Orlando, Camping World Stadium checks those traditional boxes. However, it also serves another unique and critical role.
An impact vehicle for the community, this particular venue doubles as an economic driver and a catalyst for change — one that provides critical support to the booming local tourism industry while also igniting positive transformation in the historic neighborhood it has long called home.
This dedication to a larger goal is a necessity, given the specific obstacles we face in the Central Florida region.
Whereas most venues can lean on a primary tenant and a regular-season schedule to fill seats and generate revenue and exposure, Florida Citrus Sports is the home team at Camping World Stadium — meaning it’s incumbent on us to take the sports tourism events that we and others bring to Orlando and wrap them as a franchise for the community to enjoy.
We often refer to this concept as “putting a jersey on” the stadium. It’s a concerted effort to foster fellowship and build morale locally while also meeting the needs of the tens of millions who visit Orlando annually. But ultimately, packed houses, an engaged local base and a thriving tourism sector only fulfill part of our mission.
The greater purpose of Florida Citrus Sports is to use the stadium to benefit the underserved population living in its immediate shadow. We do this through our Foundation and a partnership with LIFT Orlando, relying on our relationships to unify the private and public sectors around a common agenda that serves the residents around us.
In just the past few years, LIFT has leveraged those relationships to invest more than $100 million into ongoing capital projects in the community known as West Lakes, and that commitment to service has been an integral part of who we are for more than 70 years.
It’s a seven-decade approach that has helped us establish ourselves as a Central Florida treasure — with Camping World Stadium standing as a bastion for the good that sports can do. And as we look to the future, we feel it’s our responsibility to be even more impactful and continue to show how a stadium can benefit the communities that need it most.