2015 Entrepreneur of the Year: Sports & Entertainment
Orlando’s Citrus Bowl’s extreme makeover began in January 2014 with over $200 million in renovations which transformed the iconic downtown landmark. With these overhauls, the stadium has secured important athletic contests, including two college football bowls and landmark events like the Rolling Stones concert.
Guiding the development of the various bowls and events and responsible for more than $80 million in annual economic impact in Orlando is Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports.
“My role is to manage the operation, look for entrepreneurial opportunities, gauge them and decide where we will focus our energy and resources.”
The stadium, built in 1947, was completely outdated and falling apart when renovations began. The two upper decks remained; the rest was demolished down to the ground and rebuilt, reopening in just 10 short months. Hogan, a UCF alumni, started with Orlando Citrus Sports in 1995 with event management. Then, in 2006, he took over as CEO. The new stadium will host the Orlando Kickoff game during college football’s opening weekend in 2018 between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Louisville Cardinals.
“We continue to be amazed by the power of a bold vision. Our company has enjoyed tremendous success over the past 70 years, especially recently with a rebuilt Citrus Bowl and other events it has attracted. However, the ambition to leverage the new stadium in partnership with families to break the cycle of poverty through neighborhood revitalization will be the most important, rewarding goal we’ve ever pursued.”