Slowly but surely, Orlando is becoming a player in the national college football scene.
Florida Citrus Sports has joined organizing groups in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston to host a kickoff game, beginning with Florida State and Ole Miss on Labor Day of this year. Alabama and Louisville follow in 2018 and, announced today, Florida and Miami will meet in ’19.
Beyond that, though, Florida Citrus Sports has made a number of upgrades to the Citrus Bowl, namely adding FieldTurf following the slopfest that was the Penn State-LSU Capital One Bowl back in 2010.
And on Tuesday, the group announced it has sold the Citrus Bowl’s naming rights to Camping World, meaning the 80-year old stadium will now be known as Camping World Stadium (Camping World is also the sponsor of Orlando’s kickoff game.)
“We’re proud to partner with Florida Citrus Sports and the Central Florida community to help build memories for the next generation of residents and visitors,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. “Florida is a key market for us as we have 14 Camping World SuperCenters in this state, more than any other. Having a stadium naming rights deal in place was extremely important for us as we look toward the future. With 60 million-plus visitors to the Orlando area each year, we look forward to strengthening our brand and supporting the growing RV and camping community that has allowed us to be successful in this market.”
For Florida Citrus Sports, selling the naming rights is part of a master plan that ends with Orlando winning the 2021 College Football Playoff championship.
“We want to be careful to think about what’s the best foot forward for this community in terms of hosting one and it just seems most logical that 2021 and beyond would be the right time,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said when passing on the 2018-20 bids last year.