Florida Classic Consortium, Florida Citrus Sports Extend Partnership
ORLANDO, Florida — Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University have reached an agreement to keep the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando through the 2026 season. The renewal between the Florida Classic Consortium, made up of leadership from both universities, and Orlando-based Florida Citrus Sports was announced Wednesday by Bethune-Cookman University Interim President Dr. Lawrence Drake II and Florida A&M University President Dr. Larry Robinson.
This year’s FAMU/B-CU rivalry game, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 19, marks the 25th official Florida Classic matchup held in Orlando. More than 1.5 million fans have attended the Classic at Camping World Stadium since the game made Central Florida its home in 1997, debuting a new model where the universities wholly own the event.
The Florida Blue Florida Classic remains the only HBCU rivalry owned and operated by its participating teams, and net revenues from the game and its ancillary events are invested in scholarships and other academic opportunities at both participating universities.
“The Florida Blue Florida Classic is one of our community’s favorite annual celebrations, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the teams, the bands, the universities and their rich histories each fall,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Consortium to ensure that the Florida Blue Florida Classic remains an Orlando fixture for future generations to enjoy.”
With nearly 60,000 annual spectators in Orlando — a 47 percent increase over average attendance at previous game sites — the Classic generates an estimated economic impact of $30 million on the Central Florida region each season. Through its agreement to provide event management services to FAMU and B-CU, Florida Citrus Sports also utilizes Florida Classic Weekend to benefit the West Lakes communities surrounding Camping World Stadium.
Tickets for the Nov. 19 game are available now on Ticketmaster. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with an encore showing on ESPNU at 11 p.m. Additional information regarding the 2022 Florida Blue Florida Classic is available at FloridaClassic.org.
What They’re Saying about the Florida Blue Florida Classic:
Larry Robinson, Ph.D., President, Florida A&M University
The Florida Blue Florida Classic showcases one of the nation’s greatest football rivalries. However, the ‘Classic’ is so much more than an athletic event to Bethune-Cookman University, Florida A&M University, the citizens and businesses of Orlando and Orange County, and the tens of thousands of alumni and fans who attend events year after year.
It is an explosion of culture, a reunion of friends and families, and a recognition of the importance of these two HBCUs to Florida and the world. The Classic provides opportunities to witness amazing performances of our marching bands, exposure to our world-class academic programs, and access to critical funding that supports both institutions.
Dr. Lawrence Drake II, Interim President, Bethune-Cookman University
Florida Citrus Sports has been an indispensable and unconditional partner for the Consortium and our respective universities, and we are blessed to have formed such strong bonds over nearly three decades of partnership. We can’t wait to celebrate Orlando’s 25th Classic Week, and we look forward to building on our collective success in the coming seasons.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Every November, our community is proud to welcome Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M to the City of Orlando for the Florida Blue Florida Classic. We have been honored to host one of college football’s greatest rivalries at our Camping World Stadium for 25 years. The game continues to positively impact our city, but it’s more than just football. The Classic is about the bands, tailgating, connecting with family and friends and supporting two great HBCUs.
Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings
The Demings family’s support for HBCUs runs deep. Our three sons are Florida A&M graduates, and my wife, Congresswoman Val Demings, boasts an honorary doctorate from Bethune-Cookman University. It has given me great pride to see the Florida Blue Florida Classic blossom into the nation’s premier HBCU rivalry game. Over the past 25 years, I’m proud of the support Orange County has shown these institutions since the game adopted my hometown as its own, and I look forward to making more Classic memories in the days ahead and the years to come.