Camping World Stadium, the grandfather of the Orlando Venues facilities, began as a Works Progress Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. In the beginning the facility was named the Orlando Stadium and was built for $115,000. The stadium was renamed the Tangerine Bowl in 1947 and the first college football bowl game was played here on January 1, 1947. Catawba College defeated Maryville College 31-6. At that time, the stadium seating capacity was 10,000.
In 1952, the stadium capacity was expanded by 2,000 seats and was host to the “Little Bowl with the Big Heart,” because all proceeds from the game went directly to charity. In 1968, the stadium underwent another expansion bringing seating capacity to 17,000 and the first press box was constructed. The Tangerine Bowl underwent expansion from 1974 to 1976, to bring the total seating capacity to 50,000. In 1983, the Florida Department of Citrus became the title sponsor at a price of $250,000.
Beginning in 1989, the stadium, then known as the Florida Citrus Bowl, underwent a $30 million expansion and renovation project to add new upper decks to both sidelines of the field and 30 private suites. Each single upper deck contains 9,000 seats. The decks were manufactured of precast concrete and wrap around the existing stands, putting spectators as close to the field as possible. Four concrete ramp towers were also erected at the corners of the stadium to provide access to the decks and give the stadium a coliseum-like appearance.
The stadium has been host to countless high school, collegiate and professional football games. It has been the home field to the Orlando Broncos of the Southern Football League from 1962-1963, the Orlando Panthers of the Continental Football League from 1966-1970, the Florida Blazers of the World Football League in 1974, the University of Central Florida from 1979-2006, the Orlando Americans of the American Football Association in 1981, the Orlando Renegades of the United States Football League in 1985, the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football from 1991-1992, the Orlando Sundogs of the A-League in 1997, the Orlando Rage of the XFL in 2001, the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League and nearby Jones High School. The stadium has also served as host for National Football League preseason games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets and several neutral field, regular season college games, most notably Florida vs. Mississippi State and Florida State vs. Notre Dame. Presently, Camping World Stadium serves as host to the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, the Florida Blue Florida Classic, the Autonation Cure Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. On September 5, 2016, the first annual Orlando Kickoff Game will feature Ole Miss and Florida State.
The stadium has a storied history with music, too, hosting “Rock Superbowls” featuring such performers as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Genesis, Pink Floyd, George Michael, Paul McCartney, Guns’n Roses, Billy Joel/Elton John and Eagles. On April 14, 1979, Camping World Stadium – then known as the Tangerine Bowl – hosted the Florida World Music Festival, commonly known as the “Florida Jam.” The acts included Aerosmith, Blackfoot, Brownsville Station, Cheap Trick, Frank Marino, Mahogany Rush and Ted Nugent. In October 1981, the stadium became the only venue to feature Van Halen and The Rolling Stones together.
On March 30, 2008, the stadium hosted WrestleMania XXIV and set an attendance record of 74,635 fans. In fact, when tickets went on sale over 41,000 were sold within the first hour. It became the highest-grossing event in the stadium's history with a total ticket sales gross of $5,854,590.
Following a massive $207.7 million reconstruction in 2014 that yielded a 90% all-new stadium, the name was changed to the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Among the new amenities and enhancements at the modernized stadium are 41,000 lower bowl seats with armrests, chair backs and six additional inches of legroom, two 360-degree concourses, multiple giant video displays, a 20,000-square-foot plaza deck, an open-air facade and unique indoor & outdoor club spaces to accommodate 5,000 patrons.
On April 27, 2016, the venue was renamed Camping World Stadium as part of a multi-year naming rights sponsorship with Camping World, the premier one-stop-shop for recreational vehicles (RVs).
- Orlando Stadium 1936-1946
- Tangerine Bowl 1947-1975
- Citrus Bowl 1976
- Orlando Stadium 1977-1982
- Florida Citrus Bowl 1983-2013
- Orlando Citrus Bowl 2014-2016
- Camping World Stadium 2016-present