The head of Florida Citrus Sports tells FOX 35 that they plan to go after college football's coveted Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game, once renovations on the Citrus Bowl are complete.
Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan readily admits the stadium is not at championship level. That will change soon beginning with a $175 million facelift that will begin sometime next year, and hopefully wrap up in time for the 2014 bowl season.
"This is a national championship city," he said. "Now that we're pulling that thorn out, it's no longer going to be something that people can beat us up over. Now our city is going to win the day, our destination is going to win the day."
It's estimated that bringing the title game to town will cost 14 to 20 million dollars. Hogan says that money could be raised in part from tourist taxes, and in part from private dollars.
"You can't buy the publicity that's going to come with the fact that that's in your destination. Second, probably $400 million-plus in economic impact is just heaped on your community. If you have to go raise over the course of years to host that event some 14 to 20 million dollars in order to stage it like a Super Bowl city would. I think that's well worth the price."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he is one hundred percent behind the effort to bring the college football national championship game to Orlando. He believes games like these are the exact reason why you would renovate the Citrus Bowl in the first place.
Orlando will compete for the game with cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and New Orleans.