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College Bowl Games Help Florida's Economy

December 21, 2014 - 6:00pm

While most eyes are on the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles as they try to repeat as college footballs champion, the Sunshine State will be hosting eight bowl games, including some new ones, helping the states economy.

Florida TaxWatch released a report on Monday looking at the impact of Floridas college bowl games. The Sunshine State hosts more of the 38 bowl games across the nation than any other state, with Texas placing second with six bowl games.

"For 80 uninterrupted years, Florida has welcomed fans across the nation to the Sunshine State for postseason bowl games, including championship games," said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, on Monday. "Bowl games give Florida an incredible opportunity to show off our vibrant communities and impeccable attractions and resources."

Florida TaxWatch notes in the report that bowl games in the Orlando area added more than $88.5 million to the economy in the 2011-2012 bowl season. The report also showcases how the Orange Bowl, hosting the national title game in the 2012-2013 bowl season, added almost $300 million to South Floridas economy.

Calabro pointed to added sales for retailers, entertainment providers, hotels and restaurants as fans travel out-of-state to attend bowl games.

"Florida residents should be excited to welcome this year's out-of-state postseason bowl game fans," Calabro said. "When fans come to watch their teams play, they also pay, which enables Florida taxpayers to continue experiencing low tax rates."

Floridas bowl season kicked off on Monday as BYU took on Memphis in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl in Marlins Stadium in Miami. Tuesday marks the first ever Boca Ration Bowl at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton as Marshall plays Northern Illinois. On Friday, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights travel down I-4 to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg to play NC State in the inaugural Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, previously known as the Beef O
Bradys Bowl.

Next week, on Dec. 29, Clemson plays Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. This bowl game has seen a series of name changes, including being called the Champs Sports Bowl, the Sunshine Classic, the Carquest Bowl, the MicronPC Bowl and the Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl. The Capital One Orange Bowl, which has been being played for more than three-quarters of a century, will be held on New Years Eve at Sun Life Stadium in Miami as Mississippi State meets Georgia Tech.

On New Years Day, Florida will host two bowl games. In the Outback Bowl in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Auburn will play Wisconsin. The same day, in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Minnesota will play Missouri.

Floridas bowl games end on Jan. 2 as Iowa plays Tennessee at EverBank Field in Jacksonville in the Taxslayer Bowl, which used to be known as the Gator Bowl.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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