Since opening in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a cost of $115,000, Camping World Stadium has experienced numerous expansions and name changes over the years. In 2014 the stadium underwent major demolition and enormous reconstruction designed to modernize the facility and allow it to draw new high-profile events like neutral-site college football games, NFL pre-season match-ups and concerts. The $207.7 million project kicked-off in January immediately following a sold-out Monster Jam engagement and construction took place over the subsequent ten months so it would not interfere with the stadium's signature annual events including the Florida Blue Florida Classic, Camping World Bowl, Citrus Bowl and Monster Jam.
The stadium reopened with a ribbon cutting event on November 19, 2014 and welcomed the Florida Blue Florida Classic just a few days later as the first event in the reconstructed facility.
Among the new features and enhanced amenities:
- 41,000 lower bowl seats with six additional inches of legroom and individual chair backs
- Two wide 360-degree main concourses
- Unique club spaces with both enclosed & open-air seating for 5,000 patrons
- 20,000-square-foot plaza deck
- Vibrant open-air façade
- Press box and suites on the west side
- Two bunker suites in the north endzone
- Multiple giant video displays
- Enhanced team facilities including locker rooms, training rooms and attached media interview room
- Additional restrooms, concessions and vertical transportation
- Upgraded disabled seating with improved sightlines
The primary construction partners on this project were Hunt Construction Group (program manager), Turner Construction Company (construction manager) and HNTB (architect).
- November 4, 2013 – Pre-construction mobilization begins
- January 29, 2014 – Demolition of lower bowl begins
- March 2014 – New seating bowl construction begins
- May 2014 – Construction of facilities like team locker rooms, concession stands and operation areas begins
- June 4, 2014 – Midpoint of precast concrete bowl construction reached
- July 25, 2014 – Installation of first seat
- October 2014 – Field installation begins
- November 19, 2014 – Dedication & ribbon-cutting ceremony
- November 22, 2014 - Game-ready for the Florida Blue Florida Classic, the first event in the new stadium
- December 14, 2014 – Community Open House
- April 2015 – Final completion of construction
- 5 million – Total pounds of debris removed and recycled from the old stadium
- 3,500 – Number of truckloads of debris removed from the site during demolition
- 25 – Number of days to completely demolish the lower bowl
- 7 million – Total pounds of structural steel used to build the façade, stairway towers and escalators
- 1.6 million – Total pounds of concrete that went into the plaza deck
- 860,472 – Total man-hours
- 3,687 – Number of different workers on-site
More than 280 individuals were placed in stadium construction jobs through the City of Orlando’s BLUEPRINT Employment Office. Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation reached 36% and MWBE contracts totaling more than $60 million were awarded.
To learn about related job opportunities, the BLUEPRINT Employment Office can be reached by calling 407.246.4490 or by visiting 617 North Magnolia Avenue, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32801, Monday – Friday, 8am – 4pm. More information is available online at www.cityoforlando.net.