Citrus Bowl Stadium makes major renovations

1 year 9 months 3 weeks ago December 31, 2014 Dec 31, 2014 Wednesday, December 31 2014 Wednesday, December 31, 2014 2:11:00 PM CST in News
By: Jay Wallis, KOMU 8 Reporter

ORLANDO - Missouri and Minnesota are facing off January 1 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. They will be playing in the Citrus Bowl Stadium, which recently received major renovations. These changes gave the stadium a new look and open feel to it.

The new looks offers many new amenities, such as an open plaza area with a bar, comfortable seating throughout the stadium and up-to-date HD screens. It was a $207 million renovation.

Allen Johnson is the Orlando Venues Executive Director and was the mastermind behind the project. He said stadiums today need constant improvements on a regular basis.

"Today it's all about the fan experience because so many technologies that they have at home allow them to sit at home and watch the game and be more comfortable," Johnson said. "We have to make the experience even better and better."

The deconstruction started this past January and was accomplished in a peculiar manner. The upper level around the stadium remained in place and was not torn down. The levels under this were all torn down because the stadium was built in phases. The closest section was built in the 30s, the middle section in the 60s and the top section that remained in place in the 90s.

"Each structure had its own self-supporting system, so we were able to take out everything underneath without disrupting the upper bowl," Johnson said.

Johnson said this updated stadium is a part of a bigger plan to offer people an alternative to the regularly visited Orlando attractions.

"What we've done is basically create a sports art entertainment district stretching form the Citrus Bowl to the new MLS Soccer Stadium, which gets under construction now and opens on the 16th," Johnson said. "It goes to the new Amway Center, which opened in 2010, and our Performing Arts Center, which opened in November as well."

Johnson said he was glad to have the Missouri Tigers in town.

"We're excited to have them here," Johnson said. "Hopefully they have a great time while they're here, and the weather's going to improve for them. We promise."

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