OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
ORLANDO (January 29, 2021) – Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s oldest and most prominent youth football organization, and Florida Citrus Sports announced that Orlando will continue to play host to the historic Pop Warner Super Bowl and Cheer & Dance National Championships, which combine to draw 10,000 Pop Warner student athletes and their families from around the country and internationally each December.
Under the new long-term agreement, the 60,000-seat Camping World Stadium, which has hosted the NFL Pro Bowl and major college bowl games, will be the feature field during the Pop Warner Super Bowl. Additional games and practices will be held on fields on the expanded stadium campus in Orlando.
The premier Orlando location for the National Cheer and Dance Championship will be announced soon.
Universal Orlando Resort will be the new host to Pop Warner families staying in Orlando and the award-winning theme park destination will host the spectacular Pop Warner party during championship week.
“We’re excited to ensure Orlando will continue as our home to our championship teams and families each December. We think that’s great news,” said Pop Warner Little Scholars Executive Director Jon Butler. “Central Florida has been home to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships for 25 years. With the weather, theme parks and access to top-notch athletic facilities, it’s the perfect location for us to come together and celebrate the season as teams compete for national titles.
“We’re excited to ensure Orlando will continue as our home to our championship teams and families each December. We think that’s great news,” said Pop Warner Little Scholars Executive Director Jon Butler. “Central Florida has been home to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships for 25 years. With the weather, theme parks and access to top-notch athletic facilities, it’s the perfect location for us to come together and celebrate the season as teams compete for national titles."
“In Florida Citrus Sports, we’ve added another partner whose values align perfectly with our own and Pop Warner teams will be playing on the biggest stage the region has to offer. We’re excited and know they will be as well.”
Held in Orlando since 1997, the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships generate an estimated 25,000 room nights annually, as competitors and their families visit from across the country for the weeklong competition each year. The national youth sports organization is the largest in the world with approximately 325,000 total athletes ranging from 5 to 16 years old.
“Pop Warner represents the gold standard in the world of youth sports, and we’re humbled to welcome them to the Florida Citrus Sports family,” FCS CEO Steve Hogan said. “With the support of our friends at Disney, Pop Warner has laid an incredible foundation for us to build on, and we can’t wait to see the Pop Warner Super Bowl under the lights at Camping World Stadium.”
Florida Citrus Sports’ existing football portfolio includes the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl and the Florida Blue Florida Classic — a trio of events with nearly 150 years of combined history at Camping World Stadium. The organization also partnered with the National Football League to bring the NFL Pro Bowl to Central Florida for a successful 4-year run from 2017-20 and has hosted NFL preseason games, major NCAA kickoff events and other NCAA postseason contests at the facility.
“We’re proud of our long history as Orlando’s community quarterback, and we’re excited to take on this new, but familiar challenge,” Hogan said. “Our organization has spent decades building relationships and investing in unique opportunities to drive impact throughout Central Florida, and we’ll continue to be aggressive when it comes to pursuing partnerships that align with our mission.”
We will be providing additional information about travel, hotel options, park packages and competitions as we get closer.
CAMPING WORLD STADIUM
The stadium has been host to countless high school, collegiate and professional football games. Camping World Stadium is the current home venue of the Citrus Bowl and the Cheez-It Bowl. It is also the regular host of other college football games. Seven National Football League (NFL) preseason football games have been held at the stadium, and it was also host to the NFL Pro Bowl from 2017 until 2020.
Following a massive $207.7 million reconstruction in 2014 that yielded a 90% all-new stadium, the name was changed to the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The modernized stadium features 41,000 lower bowl seats, two 360-degree concourses, multiple giant video displays, a 20,000-square-foot plaza deck and unique indoor & outdoor club spaces.
On April 27, 2016, the venue was renamed Camping World Stadium as part of a multi-year naming rights sponsorship with Camping World.
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NATIONAL CHEER AND DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
The premier Orlando location for the National Cheer and Dance Championship will be announced soon.
Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit event management organization dedicated to positively impacting the Orlando region while enhancing the quality of life in Central Florida through world-class events, including the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl, the Florida Blue Florida Classic and the Camping World Kickoff. For more information, visit FloridaCitrusSports.com.
Q: Where will Pop Warner’s Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships be held?
A: Pop Warner’s annual Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships will continue to be held in Orlando, Florida. Orlando has been home to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships for the past 25 years and we are proud of the deep roots and relationships we have made in the Central Florida community. Orlando’s weather, award-winning theme parks and access to top-notch athletic facilities make it a prime location for all Pop Warner teams and families to come together, compete and celebrate the season. While we have typically held championships at Disney World, we will be moving down the road and partnering with Florida Citrus Sports to make Universal Orlando Resorts and Camping World Stadium the new home of Pop Warner national championship week beginning this December.
Q: Why is Pop Warner’s Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships switching from Disney to Universal Orlando Resorts and Camping World Stadium?
A: We continue to have a great relationship with Disney and are sure families will visit the parks that week. While Disney has played host to our Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer & Dance Championships for years, our partnership regarding championship week came to a pause when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. We were putting final touches on a new agreement when Disney was suddenly tasked with hosting and creating a bubble for professional leagues like the MLS and NBA at their ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. With so much uncertainty it was difficult for Disney to commit to the future and because our first priority is our Pop Warner members, we decided to start searching for a new location to ensure our teams had a first-class Championship home.
Luckily, we did not have to look far and found a highly experienced and well-respected partner in Florida Citrus Sports and an exciting new location at Universal Orlando Resorts and Camping World Stadium, both of which we think will offer some amazing, new experiences for our athletes and their families.
Q: Where will football teams now play? Where will the cheer & dance teams perform?
A: Pop Warner football teams and cheer and dance squads will compete at Orlando’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Football teams will play for a Super Bowl title in the 60,000-seat Camping World Stadium, which has been the recent home to the NFL Pro Bowl and a longtime college Bowl game site, including the Vrbo Citrus Bowl and Cheez-It Bowl. Additional games and practices will be held at fields on the expanded FCS campus in Orlando. We are finalizing details around the premier Orlando location for the National Cheer and Dance Championships, and will be announcing that news soon.
Q: Is this our new permanent arrangement?
A: The partnership between Florida Citrus Sports and Pop Warner is a multi-year agreement that took effect in 2020 with the National Cheer and Dance Championships and will continue with the return of Pop Warner’s Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships in 2021. We can tell you that we’re excited about our long-term commitment to Orlando.
Q: How will we get to Camping World Stadium and football fields?
A: Travel will be provided for Pop Warner football teams and their families at no cost to and from the Universal Orlando Resort to Camping World Stadium and all playing and practice fields.
Q: Where will we stay?
A: Pop Warner teams and their families will stay at the world-class Universal Orlando Resort. Football teams will stay at the Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort and cheer teams will stay at Universal Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites.
Q: Who is Florida Citrus Sports?
A: Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit event management organization with strong ties to the Orlando region and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Central Florida through world-class sporting and entertainment events, including the Camping World Kickoff, the Citrus Bowl, the Camping World Bowl, the Orlando Citrus Parade and the Florida Blue Florida Classic. For more information, visit FloridaCitrusSports.com.
Q: What other events has Florida Citrus Sports hosted before?
A: Florida Citrus Sports has an extensive football portfolio that includes the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl and the Florida Blue Florida Classic -- a trio of events with nearly 150 years of combined history at Camping World Stadium. The organization also partnered with the National Football League to bring the NFL Pro Bowl to Central Florida for a successful 4-year run from 2017-20 and has hosted NFL preseason games, major NCAA kickoff events and other NCAA postseason contests at the facility.
Michigan City Pop Warner would once again like to congratulate our 12U football team on a spectacular season! They represented Michigan City and our organization well in Florida, and we could not be more proud of this group of young men!
We want to take this opportunity to thank the parents and coaches for all of your time and dedication this season. In a year that presented many challenges and uncertainties, you never failed to put these kids first and make sure they could safely play football, develop their skills, and enjoy time with their friends.
Their trip to Florida would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of our community. Thank you to Douglas and Lillia Bradley of Douglas Bradley State Farm, Bulk Transport and the Brown Foundation, and Trans American, Inc. for your generous donations. Thank you to everyone who donated to the GoFundMe campaign and helped us reach our goal. Thank you to Steve Garner for supplying a team meal in Florida. Lastly, thank you to the Michigan City Police Department for providing a police escort as the team bus left town.
As we close out 2020, Michigan City Pop Warner wishes you all a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We look forward to seeing everyone this Spring!
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