This was another Truly Legendary year for Orlando Venues. In 2014, the Amway Center hosted 30 events (concerts, family shows and non-team sports), and sold out nine events including Brad Paisley (Jan 25), Paul Simon & Sting (Mar 16), NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships (Mar 20 & 22), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) (Apr 19), Cher (May 16), Blake Shelton (Aug 30), Disney On Ice presents Frozen (Sept 4–7), Marc Anthony (Oct 5), James Taylor (Nov 18) and Billy Joel (Dec 31). As Billy Joel celebrated the New Year with a sold out crowd, he also set the new house record for the highest-grossing single-day event (formerly held by Eagles). The 30 events sold 389,202 total tickets and grossed total tickets sales of $23,075,891.
The arena also debuted several events this year including NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball (2nd & 3rd rounds), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a heavyweight championship bout featuring Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne, Professional Bull Riding’s Blue-Def Velocity Tour and Feld Entertainment’s Marvel Universe Live. Feld Entertainment also had its world premiere of Disney On Ice presents Frozen at the Amway Center in September with nine performances and record-breaking box office sales.
The newly-reconstructed Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium, the grandfather of the Orlando Venues facilities, was unveiled by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs along with the Orlando City Council and Orange County Commission during a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 19. The massive $207 million project entailed 90 percent all-new construction and the Orlando Citrus Bowl now features enhancements and amenities that elevate the fan experience and provide the essential attributes promoters seek in a venue to ensure success for their event. The design features and modernization of the stadium make it competitive in today’s market and allow it to remain a destination for unforgettable events and experiences. Since its unveiling, the stadium has hosted a bevy of football games. The 2014 Florida Blue Florida Classic kicked off the inaugural event in the new Orlando Citrus Bowl on November 22. The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats defeated the Florida A&M Rattlers, 18-7. Two weeks later, the stadium hosted the Florida High School Athletic Association Football Finals (FHSAA) December 5 & 6 and 12 & 13 and crowned Florida’s High School State Champions: American Heritage (5A), Miami Central (6A), St. Thomas Quinas (7A) and Apopka (8A). On December 29, the silver anniversary of the Russell Athletic Bowl hosted the No. 18 Clemson Tigers (ACC) vs Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12) where the Tigers mauled the Sooners 40-6. The annual New Year’s Day match-up featured the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (formerly known as Capital One Bowl) with the No. 16 Missouri Tigers (SEC) beating No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten), 33-17.
“Since opening in 2010, the Amway Center continues to attract the world’s top artists and acts, earn top achievements for delivering an exceptional customer service experience and be recognized as one of the country’s top arenas,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I’m proud of the Amway Center’s success and now, with the opening of the Orlando Citrus Bowl, I’m excited for Central Florida residents and visitors to Get Into It and create memorable moments.”
“While reflecting on 2014, I’m proud of everything that the Orlando Venues facilities have accomplished; it has been a year of great accomplishment especially with the recent opening of the new Orlando Citrus Bowl,” said Allen Johnson, executive director of Orlando Venues. “It’s the Orlando Venues team and its partners that make me most proud. It’s their dedication to being experience creators that make all of this possible.”
In 2015, the Amway Center will commemorate another year of Truly Legendary artists including Elton John (March 7) Fleetwood Mac (March 23) and Jimmy Buffett (April 16), while celebrating the return of the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators. The Orlando Citrus Bowl will host the annual Monster Jam on January 24 and welcome back Orlando City Soccer for its inaugural Major League Soccer Season.