Alabama vs. Michigan game draws 60,000 to Central Florida

Second big bowl game at Camping World Stadium injects millions into Central Florida economy

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly 60,000 people attended the Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium on New Year’s Day, according to Florida Citrus Sports.

Organizers said Alabama and Michigan fans will collectively spend millions of dollars during their visit to Central Florida.

Restaurants, shops, hotels and residents of Parramore -- the struggling century-old neighborhood surrounding the stadium -- will see an economic boost from the second of two big bowl games held at Camping World in the past week.

Some residents were charging drivers upwards of $40 to $50 to park in their yards on game day.

John Hamin said he made $1,000 each day during the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) held at Camping World Stadium's Tinker Field in November.

“Oh yeah, money coming this way!” Hamin said. “It was crazy.”

Hamin said he has seen a steady rise in money-making parking opportunities correlated with bigger, more frequent events at Camping World Stadium.

Besides the two bowl games and EDC, Camping World hosted Monster Jam, Wrestlemania and the NFL Pro-Bowl in 2019.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said the stadium is comparable to many world-class stadiums around the U.S. and can host large events only because of the $200 million renovations completed in 2014 that gutted the stadium and rebuilt most of it.

Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings have committed to spend another $60 million in 2020 to renovate bathrooms and parking lots and club-level seating.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.