Is This the First Step to Bringing Regular Season Games to the Citrus Bowl?
The Pro Bowl has lost some of it’s dazzle over the last few years. even Rodger Goodell stated that the game was not up to standards for entertainment and competitive value. That didn’t stop four major cities from attempting to land the NFL’s version of an all-star game. Houston, Orlando, Honolulu, and even Sydney, Australia all had interest in hosting in hosting the next three Pro Bowls.
Orlando emerged as the winner, and according to profootballtalk.com, they bid around $2.5 million to land the game in 2017, a price tag that is negotiable for the following two years. So with the Pro Bowl set to make its debut in Orlando more than likely the week before Super Bowl, the Citrus Bowl is ready to make return to hosting NFL action for the first time since the 90’s when pre-season games were played there. After spending getting a $200 million plus makeover, the Citrus Bowl is looking to host NFL action yet again, and the Pro Bowl is just the beginning.
Steve Hogan, the CEO of Florida Citrus Sports, sounded extremely confident that the Citrus Bowl will be hosting NFL games in the near future. “I promise you, I guarantee you, we will have NFL football in this stadium in 2017. I’m not just talking about preseason games. Regular-season games are also in play”, Hogan stated. Pre-season games seem all but approved to be played there after the success of landing the Pro Bowl, but a regular season game? It could happen.
What teams would be interested in playing regular season games at the Citrus Bowl? The Dolphins just spent a ton of money to renovate their stadium and seem unlikely to give up home games. That leaves both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are 150 and 90 miles away from the city of Orlando respectively. Both the Jaguars and the Bucs are both towards the bottom of the list when it comes to home game attendance, so they seemed poised to be the first teams to possibly play the first ever regular season game in Orlando.
The next step for Steve Hogan to make his statement a reality is to land preseason games and have them be successful. If attendance in the preseason and Pro Bowl is impressive, don’t be too surprised to have the opportunity to watch meaningful NFL action in Orlando.
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