Florida Citrus Bowl

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The Florida Citrus Bowl was a postseason game originated as the Tangerine Bowl on January 1, 1947, at Orlando, Florida. It moved into December in 1958, was played on New Year's Day in 1960, and went back to a December date from 1960 through 1985. The name became the Citrus Bowl in 1983, and it has been played on January 1 since 1987. The stadium opened in 1936 and was initially named Orlando Stadium and seated 8,900. The first college game played there was the 1947 Tangerine Bowl when Catawba College beat Maryville College, 31-6, with the stadium becoming known as the Tangerine Bowl at this time. The game was named the Tangerine Bowl from 1947 to 1982, when it was renamed the Citrus Bowl. In 1983, the Florida Department of Citrus was added as a title sponsor for the facility, at a price of $250,000. It carried this name through 2002. Financial services company Capital One has been the title sponsor of the bowl since 2001 when it was the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl but with the exclusive Capital One Bowl moniker since 2003. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, a non-profit group which also organizes the Russell Athletic Bowl and Florida Classic.

After several renovations, the most recent in 1989, the stadium had permanent seats for 65,438, and can accommodate 70,229 with temporary bleachers in the north end zone. It was announced in May 2013 that the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium would undergo a reconstruction during 2014, at a cost of less than US$200 million. The cost estimate as of March 2014 was US$207 million. The stadium's upper tiers will be salvaged, but the remainder of the stadium will be demolished. The reconstruction is very similar to what happened upstate in Jacksonville back in 1993 to 1995, where the old Gator Bowl Stadium was transformed into the current Everbank Field by removing the older lower deck while maintaining the stadium's newer upper deck and rebuilding new, modern lower deck seating sections below it.

In 2000, Florida Citrus Sports took over the postseason match that had previously been named the Blockbuster Bowl, (1990-1993), and the CarQuest Bowl, (1994-1997), and the MicronPC Bowl, (1998-2000), and moved it from Miami to Orlando. It was given the historical moniker, the Tangerine Bowl. Foot Locker, the parent company of Champs Sports, purchased naming rights in 2004, naming it the Champs Sports Bowl. On June 18, 2012, naming rights were purchased by Russell Athletic for the 2012-2015 games.

As of 2014, Clemson has played bowl games in Orlando five times. Clemson defeated Penn State, 35-10, in the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 1988, after winning the ACC championship. The Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, 13-6, on January 2, 1989, after winning the ACC championship. On January 1, 1992, Clemson's five bowl winning streak ended as the Tigers fell to the eighth-ranked California Golden Bears in the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, 13-37, after winning the ACC championship. On December 23, 2002, Clemson played Texas Tech in the Mazda Tangerine Bowl, but the Tigers lost to the Red Raiders, 15-55. On December 27, 2005, twenty-third-ranked Clemson took on the unranked Colorado Buffaloes in the Champ Sports Bowl, played in the Citrus Bowl stadium, only the second meeting between the two teams. The Tigers beat the Buffaloes, 19-10, to tie the all-time record, 1-1. Colorado won the first match, played in the 1957 Orange Bowl in Miami, 27-21.

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  • Hickok, Ralph, "The Encyclopedia of North American Sports History", Facts On File, Inc., New York, Oxford,1992, Library of Congress card number 91-6667, ISBN 0-8160-2096-5, page 107.