Following a successful 2010-11 Orange Bowl Festival, the Orange Bowl Committee has begun planning for this year, building upon the successes of the past while enhancing the programs and events that make the festival South Florida’s premier annual tradition.
Last year’s festival had many highlights, delivering action on and off the playing field for South Florida residents and visitors. It also continued the Committee’s work behind the scenes to establish and support community initiatives to inspire youth, engage families and improve life in South Florida.
The 2011 Discover Orange Bowl, featuring new title sponsor Discover Financial Services, matched two Top 15 teams, the #4 Stanford Cardinal versus the #13 Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium. After a close first half, the excitement from a halftime performance by the chart-topping Goo Goo Dolls ignited Stanford, as their high-powered offense turned it on in the second half, prevailing over the Hokies 40-12. The 2012 game surely will be another anticipated matchup as the ACC Champion and a top-ranked BCS at-large team will face-off, while a new national recording artist will join a long list of notable halftime performers at the Orange Bowl.
This year, the Orange Bowl Committee started two New Year’s traditions, Orange Drive and the City of Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown. Orange Drive was a three-day take-over of South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive, offering live entertainment including a New Year’s Eve Jam on the Sand with Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield, a Latin Festival on New Year’s Day and a pep rally featuring each Orange Bowl team’s marching band; while the Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown included activities for the entire family and a lighted ball drop at midnight. The committee plans to further enhance each of these events this year, celebrating the New Year in typical South Florida style, complete with even bigger performances and activities for visiting fans and residents.
In honor of its 75th anniversary in 2009, the Orange Bowl spearheaded a $5.65 million legacy gift initiative to build a much needed football stadium at Miami’s Moore Park, the birthplace of the Orange Bowl. This past January, Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park was unveiled. This project has been greatly received by the community, as Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park is providing a place for children to stay active and involved with youth sports programs, teaching them lessons such as dedication, team work and discipline. Throughout 2011-12, Moore Park will continue to host a great array of events including high school sports.
In my new position of president and chairman, I — along with our board of directors — promise to remain stewards of the South Florida community, building upon our rich 78-year history and ensuring that the Orange Bowl Committee delivers on its promise to drive tourism to South Florida and continue to provide youth sports and academic opportunities to more than 16,000 kids on an annual basis.
Please join me and fellow board members O. Ford Gibson, Andrew Hertz, Luis Boué, Lee Stapleton, Shaun Davis, Tony Argiz, Tim Battle, Michael Chavies, Shawn Crews, Al Cueto, Al Dotson Sr., Larry Gautier, Sara Herald, Laura Morgan Horton, Chris Knight, Peyton Lumpkin, Matt Morrall, Sean Pittman, Jeff Rubin, Jack Seiler, Doug Wiley and J. Hayes Worley Jr. in continuing the tradition of the Orange Bowl Festival in 2011-12; and as we look forward to hosting the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.
For information on the OBC’s volunteer Ambassador Program or the Discover Orange Bowl, MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic or other festival events, call 305-341-4701 or go to www.orangebowl.org.