Orlando Poised to Become Entertainment Hub

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor As the city’s tourism seems to be on a path to recovery, Orlando may soon see the long-awaited renovation of its Florida Citrus Bowl stadium. Reportedly, the stadium project was delayed once the recession caused tourist [...]

As the city’s tourism seems to be on a path to recovery, Orlando may soon see the long-awaited renovation of its Florida Citrus Bowl stadium. Reportedly, the stadium project was delayed once the recession caused tourist tax collections to plummet, and the available funding was redirected toward the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center arena and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, city officials this week declared that by early 2015, there may be enough funding to pay for most of the $175 million stadium renovation.

The $383 million Dr. Phillips Arts Center, poised to become Central Florida’s urban destination for multicultural artistry of regional, national and international standing, would also create nearly 3,000 Orlando-area jobs—generating an economic impact of more than $315 million.

Featuring a multi-purpose theater, a Disney Theater, the Jim & Alexis Pugh Community Theater and a Public Performance Plaza (that can host up to 3,000 guests), the Center—whose construction is slated to begin next month—will be located in downtown Orlando, bordered by South Street to the north, Anderson Street to the south, Orange Avenue to the west and Rosalind Avenue to the east. All of the arts center’s funding must be in place before any tourist tax money is redirected toward the stadium.

While the Citrus Bowl stadium does not have a resident football team of its own, it is home field to the Orlando City soccer club and hosts the Capital One Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and Florida Classic. Upon renovation, the 75-year-old stadium will receive new lower-bowl seating, 4,000 club seats, 10 new suites, a banquet space and ballroom, as well as new restrooms, locker rooms and concession stands. The stadium is also renowned for hosting motor sports, concerts and touring shows.