Central Florida prepares to host bowl games amid pandemic

Thousands of fans expected to attend

Within the next two weeks, Central Florida will play host to some big college football bowl games. Thousands of people are expected to visit Camping World Stadium for each of three games.
Within the next two weeks, Central Florida will play host to some big college football bowl games. Thousands of people are expected to visit Camping World Stadium for each of three games.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Within the next two weeks, Central Florida will play host to some big college football bowl games. Thousands of people are expected to visit Camping World Stadium for each of the three games.

A number of safety guidelines will be in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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On Saturday, Coastal Carolina plays Liberty in the Cure Bowl. Then, on Dec. 29, Miami goes against Oklahoma State in the Cheez It Bowl and Auburn will take on Northwestern on New Year’s Day playing in the Citrus Bowl.

Steve Hogan is the CEO at Florida Citrus Sports, which is hosting two of the bowl games.

“Really excited to provide a safe outdoor atmosphere for folks who are going to be socially distance throughout,” Hogan said.

He said the bowl games will also mean more exposure for Orlando and Central Florida.

“Each game will have a direct economic impact on our community, on our hotels, the real story still will be a national broadcast audience,” Hogan said.

With thousands of visitors coming to the area, businesses are hoping the games bring a much-needed boost to what’s been a tough year.

Karl Brown, who owns Oley’s Kitchen not far away, hopes it’ll be a boost for his business, which he said has been slow because of COVID-19.

“Hopefully it can be the start of a rebound from the virus,” Brown said. “Even if it adds 20 or 25 people who wouldn’t be coming in at this time of the year, it’s going to help.”

He said his catering and restaurant business often serves as a vendor at the bowl games.

“Everybody when they go to these bowl games, they go to have fun,” Brown said.

Each bowl game will have limited fans, all to try and prevent the COVID-19 spread. Attendees will have to buy their tickets in groups of two or four for the most part to maintain social distancing.

The Orlando Sports Foundation said it’s expecting about 4,800 people at the Cure Bowl, where only a portion of the stadium will be open.

Florida Citrus Sports said it expects 10,000 fans will be at the Cheez It Bowl and the Citrus Bowl, where the stadium will be available at about 20-25% capacity.

Tailgating will not be allowed at the Cheez It Bowl or the Citrus Bowl.

You can read more about how to buy tickets and information about tailgating visit CampingWorldStadium.com.


About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.