Evaluation of the Citrus Bowl in Orlando

Citrus Bowl Evaluation at the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day, 2011

1. Is there ever incentives to provide the concession stand workers to work hard to sell more donuts, pretzels, soft drinks or water? They were so slow and emotionally detached while serving customers at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Mind you, on January 1, you couldn’t blame it on the heat.

The concessionaires could potentially sell 20 to 40 percent more items, would that mean they would have to pay their staff more? Could you get competent and hard working staff to accept that challenge and receive a bonus if they exceeded fairly set quotas? It could possibly be a win-win for the clients, concessionaires and staff employees. Food for thought?

Image of the Citrus Bowl from astroturfusa.com

2.a. Restrooms and Facilities. Why not keep the restroom exit doors open? You’re not affecting privacy and you may improve hygiene by not having germs spread by many individuals touching the exit handle without washing their hands. What difference does it make if 80% of all men wash their hands after using the restroom when all men need to use the restroom exit handle when leaving? All users are affected even though 80% of users are trying to practice good hygiene.

In addition, with large crowds, you’re improving the traffic flow by keeping the door open. One more note, because of traffic flow at such large events, it’s imperative that there’s a clearly marked exit and entrance. Keep people moving as efficiently as possible.

2.b. Restrooms were somewhat disorganized and disheveled. When you have major events at such a venue, you almost need a full-time janitor on hand to keep things clean and organized.

2.c. On a similar bio-related note, I found it very difficult to find a drinking fountain or a bubbler (what it’s called in Wisconsin) to use to fill up your empty water bottle.

3.a. Parking is a challenge — especially if you bring a family as you want to park as close to the stadium as possible. We chose a spot directly off the expressway and were fortunate to only have to pay $30 for a spot about a 10 minute walk from the Citrus Bowl. The parking area was a little suspect and somewhat run down so not sure how feasible this spot would be at night. Regardless, an issue arose after the game when they rerouted traffic unbeknownst to us. Nothing to indicate the traffic prior to the game that the traffic would be re-routed. We had to take an alternate route (worked out OK) which was somewhat challenging at first without a GPS and being unfamiliar with the area south of the Citrus Bowl.

3.b. An alternative is to park downtown and take the bus to the station which I’ve done in years past. The system is pretty well organized and seamless. You can easily catch a bus after the game or even before the end without any issues to take you back downtown.

One note about parking downtown Orlando, especially on New Year’s. It can be desolate and I’ve read sometimes parked cars are broken into. So your car may be a target for thieves during the game.

4. At larger stadiums, why not add a weather board for all spectators to see? In other words, wind direction and strength, temperature, and barometric pressure. You are dealing with a game played in the elements, why not include weather information to help spectators better understand how it may affect the play on the field?

Fortunately, for the spectators on January 1, 2011 in Orlando, the high temperature was 77 degreesa perfect day especially for visitors. In other parts of the country, weather may vary more significantly and weather may play a more significant role in the game played in the elements.

1. Overall, the staff at the Citrus Bowl were helpful and accommodating. From the police directing traffic after the game (even though we were re-routed) to the ushers, no complaints about the service they provided.

2. According to a press release in July, 2010, the Citrus Bowl Stadium just received new AstroTurf last September. In other words, the turf for the Capital One Bowl did indeed look good.

3. From where I sat, fans from both Michigan State and Alabama were friendly and out to have a good time. There were some good ribbing done by the Crimson Tide fans as they clearly dominated the Spartans from Michigan State early and often. All was done in good fun.

4. We were able to find a number of tickets for the game outside the stadium for well under face value. Of course, the old supply and demand principle comes into play. In other words, finding out there were tickets available at the box office 2 hours prior to the game indicated to me that good seats would be available outside the stadium for under face value. We had no issues buying and selling tickets prior to the game to ensure the group of 4 could be seated together.

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