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Bowl Games Score Big for Florida Economy

Citrus Bowl Tour. Photo: Megan Tajudeen

The University of Central Florida Knights face off against NC State Friday night in the in the Bit Coin Bowl in St. Petersburg.

The game is one of many hosted in Florida and has a strong impact on the state’s economy. Of the 38 national bowl games, Florida is hosting 8. That’s more than any other state.

Bowl games are big business for the hosting cities. During the 2011-2012 bowl week in Orlando, the estimated economic impact for the city alone was $71 million between the two games.

Florida Tax Watch’s Morgan McCord says out of state fans will spend money at hotels, restaurants and attractions “which are all things that help keep Florida tax payer’s tax burden low. It’s great that these fans come to watch their teams play and then they get to pay some of the tax burden that otherwise Florida taxpayers would have to pick.”

Almost all of the games being held in Florida are from college teams that are out of state. And that’s a big deal for Florida’s tourism economy. “People traveling from out of state who have probably never been to Florida before will have the opportunity to experience some of the great things our state has to offer and will go back and tell their friends how wonderful their time in Florida was,” says McCord.

And that’s why cities and tourism boards actively court the college bowl selection committees. Having multiple high quality stadiums, like the newly renovated Citrus Bowl, is one draw to the state.

The Orlando Citrus bowl plays host to two collegiate bowl games. Clemson and Oklahoma on December 29 and Minnesota and Missouri on January 1.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »