Fans across the state to descend on Central Florida for renewal of historic rivalry
The Florida Gators will play the Miami Hurricanes in Camping World Stadium during college football’s opening weekend in 2019. The neutral-site season opener is part of a series of Camping World Kickoff games in Orlando.
The 2019 matchup is the third announced Camping World Kickoff in a multi-year agreement between Camping World, Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) and ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, to host major neutral-site regular-season games in Camping World Stadium. The stadium is already home to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl and Florida Blue Florida Classic games, as well as previously-announced Camping World Kickoff games in 2016 and 2018.
“I am thrilled that a Florida and Miami matchup is on the schedule,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises and host of CNBC’s The Profit. “This is the type of high quality matchup that will drive fans to Camping World Stadium. This matchup will be a throw down at the 50-yard line!”
“Florida Citrus Sports is proud to announce yet another big-time college football game for Orlando,” said FCSports Chief Executive Officer Steve Hogan. “We’re excited to pair two in-state teams for a match-up with tremendous appeal locally and nationally at the top of the 2019 season.”
“It’s exciting to announce such a classic, headlining rivalry as our matchup for the 2019 Camping World Kickoff,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “We always want to provide the fans with the ultimate experience, and the Gators meeting the Hurricanes in the heart of Florida certainly delivers that.”
History between the Florida schools is rich. Florida and Miami first met in 1938 and the Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 29-26. In the 55 meetings, more than half (26) have been decided by a touchdown or less. The 2019 game will be the seventh neutral-site meeting in the series with those matchups being split 3-3.
ESPN’s first live regular-season college football night game telecast on September 1, 1984, featured Florida vs. Miami at “the Big Sombrero,” Tampa Stadium. The thriller that saw Bernie Kosar lead the ‘Canes over freshman QB Kerwin Bell’s Gators, 32-20 followed that afternoon’s first live regular-season game on ESPN pitting BYU at Pitt. The 2019 Camping World Kickoff game will take place almost 35 years to the day from that historic contest.
Tickets will go on sale in 2019, with Florida Citrus Sports members getting priority access as they do for the annual bowl games and for the 2016 (Florida State-Ole Miss) and 2018 (Alabama-Louisville) Camping World Kickoff games. For membership information, call 407.423.2476 or go to http://www.floridacitrussports.com.
About Florida Citrus Sports
Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to increasing community spirit and pride, promoting tourism, stimulating economic development and ultimately benefiting charities, educational institutions and the quality of life in Central Florida through world-class events including the Camping World Kickoff, Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl. For more information, visit FCSports.com.
About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, nine college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
About Camping World Stadium
Camping World Stadium is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. Since opening in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a cost of $115,000 and a capacity of 8,900, the stadium has undergone numerous expansions over the years. The historic venue underwent a massive $207.7 million reconstruction in 2014 which yielded 90% all-new construction and a completely modernized stadium The numerous enhancements and amenities include 41,000 lower bowl seats with chair backs, two 360-degree concourses, multiple giant video displays, a 20,000-square-foot plaza deck, a vibrant open-air exterior and unique indoor & outdoor club spaces to serve 5,000 patrons. These upgrades have bolstered Camping World Stadium’s ability to draw new high-profile events like neutral-site college football games, NFL pre-season match-ups and big-name concerts while retaining its signature annual bowl games and events. On April 27, 2016, it was announced that Camping World would be the stadium naming rights partner. The City of Orlando and its partners at Florida Citrus Sports expect the recent reconstruction to generate a $300 million annual economic impact. More information at CampingWorldStadium.com.
About Camping World
In 2016, Camping World marks 50 years of offering specialized products, expert advice and great service to recreational vehicle owners and campers across North America. From our founding in 1966, we’ve grown from a single store in Bowling Green, Kentucky to the nation’s number one retailer of RVs, RV accessories and RV-related services, with 120 SuperCenters nationwide, a state-of-the-art call center and an award-winning website. Over the last half century, Camping World has become the premier one-stop-shop for everything RVers need to enjoy living and traveling in their RVs, as well as a vital source of products and services to help RV owners maintain and protect their investment. Along with over 10,000 RV parts and accessories, we also offer a full selection of new and used RVs for sale; RV and tow vehicle service and maintenance; collision centers; RV Spa detail and refurbishment centers; technical advice from knowledgeable experts, and hard-to-find parts.