US football fiesta amid COVID whiplash



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Orlando ready for 3 Bowl games with fans Image: Orlando Venues

Central Florida (US) will play host to some big college football bowl games within the next two weeks. Irrespective of the COVID-19 thwack on in the United States, it is expected that staunch supporters will turn up by the horde at the Camping World Stadium in Florida for each of the three games.

The 65,000-capacity Camping World Stadium is a venue in Orlando, Florida (US), located in the West Lakes neighborhood of Downtown Orlando.

Safety guidelines will be in place because of the coronavirus scourge.

On December 26th, Coastal Carolina will take on Liberty in the Cure Bowl. Then, on December 29th, Miami goes against Oklahoma State in the Cheez It Bowl (college football bowl) and Auburn will take on Northwestern on New Year’s Day playing in the Citrus Bowl.

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers football team represents Coastal Carolina University in college football at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. The Chanticleers are members of the Sun Belt Conference, fielding its teams at the FBS level since 2017. The Liberty Flames football program represents Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, in college football. The Flames compete in NCAA Division I.

The Cure Bowl is an annual American college football bowl game played in December of each year in Orlando, Florida, currently at Exploria Stadium. The Cure Bowl is so named to promote awareness and research of breast cancer, with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The Miami Hurricanes football team represents the University of Miami in the sport of American football. The Hurricanes compete in the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Oklahoma State Cowboys football program represents Oklahoma State University-Stillwater in college football. The team is a member of the Big 12 Conference and competes at the NCAA Division I FBS level.

The Auburn Tigers football program represents Auburn University in the sport of American college football. Auburn competes in the FBS Subdivision (FBS) of the NCAA and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Northwestern Wildcats football team represents Northwestern University as a NCAA Division I college football team and member of the Big Ten Conference.

The Citrus Bowl is an annual college football bowl game played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The bowl is operated by Florida Citrus Sports, a non-profit group that also organizes the Cheez-It Bowl and Florida Classic.

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

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

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.”

With thousands of visitors visiting the area, businesses are hoping the games will bring a much-needed boost to what’s been a tough and terrible year due to the coronavirus curse.

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. 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.”

Brown informed that 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.”

There will be limited in-person attendance for each bowl game, all to try and prevent the COVID-19 spread which still is in a dangerous form in the US. Attendees will have to buy their tickets in groups of two or four for the most part to maintain physical distancing.

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

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

Fans may tailgate at the Cheez It Bowl and Citrus Bowl, but only in certain sections with restrictions in place.

Apart from the bowl games generating a lot of excitement, the bowl games are usually a major tourism draw as fans of the teams flock to town to cheer on their respective teams in the games and other bowl activities. Because of precautions being taken related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the picture is still hazy as to how many fans will be able to attend the games this season.

Seats are available in clusters of two, four, six or eight, with physical distancing implemented between pods.

Florida Citrus Sports and the City of Orlando are also implementing additional procedures to ensure the safety of guests and staff members at Camping World Stadium events.

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