Spectrum Stadium (formerly known as Bright House Networks Stadium) is an American football stadium located in Orlando, Florida, United States, on the main campus of the University of Central Florida. It is the home field of the UCF Knights of NCAA Division I FBS college football.
"The Bounce House"
The stadium during the 2017 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game
|Former names||Bright House Networks Stadium (2007–17)|
|Location||4465 Knights Victory Way|
Orlando, Florida 32816
|Public transit||UCF Transit Center,|
|Owner||University of Central Florida|
|Record attendance||48,453 (2009)|
|Surface||Tifway 419 Bermuda|
|Scoreboard||114 feet (35 m) x 36 feet (11 m)|
|Broke ground||March 22, 2006|
|Opened||September 15, 2007|
|Construction cost||$55 million|
($69.8 million in 2019 dollars)
|UCF Knights (NCAA) (2007–present)|
Florida Cup (2017–2018)
Orlando Apollos (AAF) (2019)
The stadium opened in 2007 as a replacement for Camping World Stadium (then known as the Citrus Bowl) in Downtown Orlando, where the Knights had played since their inaugural season in 1979. The steel and brick-clad stadium was designed by 360 Architecture and constructed in 18 months. The stadium underwent an $8 million renovation following the 2014 season. The Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership was built on the east facade of the stadium, and a party deck was added to the east stands. Since the renovations, its seating capacity is 44,206. The attendance record as of the 2018 season was 48,453 for an October 18, 2009 match-up against the Miami Hurricanes. Spectrum Stadium was the home of the Orlando Apollos during the first and only 2019 season of the Alliance of American Football.
Spectrum Stadium has been nicknamed The Bounce House, as it was found to be susceptible to considerable shaking when its crowd jumps in unison. Although it was stated that the stadium was structurally sound and that this effect would not cause long-term damage to the facility, measures were undertaken following the stadium's inaugural season to reduce these effects.
Spectrum Stadium is located on the northeastern edge of UCF's 1,415-acre (573 ha) main campus, which is approximately 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Downtown Orlando and 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Daytona Beach. The stadium is a part of the Kenneth G. Dixon Athletics Village and is bordered by McCulloch Road on the north side, Knights Plaza on the west side, and Orion Boulevard on the southern and eastern sides.
To the west in Knights Plaza is the Addition Financial Arena, The Venue, John Euliano Park, and the UCF Track and Soccer Complex. Also located in Knights Plaza are The Towers residence halls, housing 2,000 UCF students, including student-athletes.
From 1979 to 2006, the Knights played their home games at the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando. Located about 15 miles (24 km) from UCF's main campus, the stadium is also the home of the Citrus Bowl game, and numerous neutral site games. By the 2000s, the stadium had fallen into a dilapidated state. School officials were dissatisfied with the condition of the facility and lack of revenue generated from games. The stadium's capacity (65,000) was considered too large for the Knights, and the location off-campus was considered a significant factor in the inability to sustain a sizeable student section. When the university approached the city about renovations and new revenue-sharing measures, they were met with resistance. While the city had expressed interest in renovating the Citrus Bowl with or without UCF's support, funding was seriously in doubt. The city was in the planning stages for a new arena, new performing arts center, and "creative village", with stadium renovations seemingly taking less priority.
In early 2005, the university abandoned the efforts to renovate the Citrus Bowl, and conducted a feasibility study to construct an on-campus stadium. Along with playing in a modern facility, and generating revenue, additional motivations included drawing more students to the games, a more intimate setting, and establishing game-day traditions on campus. With UCF's main campus one of the largest in the nation, building an on-campus stadium was also seen as a way to grow the university. In December 2005, the UCF Board of Trustees approved the construction of the new on-campus stadium. The facility, initially known as UCF Stadium, was hoped to be ready for the 2006 season. However, construction was delayed due to concerns from local residents regarding potentially falling property values and noise levels from the stadium.
Construction broke ground on March 22, 2006. Two months later, it was announced that the Texas Longhorns would be the first opponent for the UCF Knights in the new stadium. The game, the first of three scheduled meetings between the schools, was held September 15, 2007. A sellout crowd of 45,622 saw the Knights put a scare into the Longhorns before falling 35–32.
Drinking fountain controversyEdit
The stadium was originally built without drinking fountains. The university argued that the building code used when the stadium was designed and approved did not require the installation of drinking fountains. However, this claim turned out to be incorrect because the 2004 Florida building code (in effect in 2005, when the UCF Board of Trustees approved the stadium design) mandated that stadiums and other public arenas must have one water fountain for every 1,000 seats, or half that number of fountains if water was also available for sale.
During the inaugural game against Texas, vendors ran out of water at halftime, leading to the hospitalization of 18 people for heat exhaustion. In order to correct the issue, UCF provided a free bottle of water to each person at the next game and immediately began work to install at least 50 drinking fountains throughout the stadium in order to comply with the 2004 building code requirement.
During construction, the stadium's naming rights were sold to cable provider Bright House Networks, naming the facility Bright House Networks Stadium. In 2016, Bright House Networks was acquired by Charter Communications; in accordance with Charter's trade name for its cable services, the facility was renamed Spectrum Stadium in April 2017.
The short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF) included the Orlando Apollos as one of its franchises with the Apollos playing at Spectrum Stadium during its inaugural 2019 season. The AAF folded in April 2019 with its first season incomplete; the University of Central Florida had failed to invoice the AAF for the lease of its stadium facilities or expenses for staff, leading media to speculate that UCF had lost more than $1 million of revenue from the deal.
The stadium was designed for a planned expansion to 65,000 seats. UCF plans to begin the expansion by expanding the Roth Tower with more suites and club seating, and also adding an additional 10,000 seats in a third level on the east side of the stadium, increasing the stadium's capacity to 56,000.
The capacity for the 2015 season dropped by 1,117 seats when UCF removed seats on the east sidelines to construct the "Carl Black and Gold Cabana," which includes a bar, catered barbecue, and padded seats above the bar. In 2017, private field-level cabanas were erected in the south endzone, adjacent to the new J. & J. Rosengren Lounge. In 2018, additional field-level cabanas were added to the north endzone, as well as Loge cabana tables along the top rim of the grandstands.
In 2016, UCF removed its original scoreboard, located at the north end of the stadium, and replaced it with a full LED scoreboard measuring 114 ft x 36 ft. One year later, UCF replaced the stadium's original auxiliary scoreboard, located at the south end of the stadium, and replaced it with a ribbon board that measures approximately 7 by 199 feet (2.1 m × 60.7 m).
In 2017, the university sued the architects and contractors that designed and constructed the stadium. Cited in the lawsuit were claims of "defects and deficiencies" which ostensibly led to "premature wear of the steel," as well as visible rust issues.
Just over two weeks before the 2019 UCF football season opener, the UCF athletic department announced that the entire season-ticket allotment was sold out for the first time in school history. In addition, they created a formal waiting list for season tickets, also for the first time. In the press release, UCF athletic director Danny White teased a possible expansion of Spectrum Stadium in the near future if ticket demand remains high.
|1||48,543||October 17, 2009||9 Miami 27, UCF 7|
|2||47,795||November 17, 2018||24 Cincinnati 13, 11 UCF 38||College Game Day|
|3||47,605||September 28, 2013||12 South Carolina 28, UCF 25|
|4||47,129||November 24, 2017||South Florida 42, 15 UCF 49||War on I-4|
|5||46,805||September 6, 2008||17 South Florida 31, UCF 24||War on I-4|
|6||46,103||November 3, 2007||Marshall 13, UCF 47|
|7||45,952||November 29, 2013||South Florida 20, 17 UCF 23||War on I-4|
|8||45,671||September 10, 2011||Boston College 3, UCF 30|
|9||45,622||September 15, 2007||6 Texas 35, UCF 32||Inaugural game|
|10||45,510||September 14, 2019||Stanford 27, UCF 45|
The "Bounce House"Edit
The stadium is also known as "The Bounce House" because the stadium vibrates and shakes when fans jump in unison, most notably when Zombie Nation's song "Kernkraft 400" is played. While many fans like this feature, some are uneasy with the bouncing. Stadium officials claimed the stadium was structurally sound, and an independent contractor confirmed that the bouncing will not damage the stadium and shorten its expected 50–year useful life. Still, a project was begun prior to the 2008 season to reinforce the stadium superstructure and mitigate the bouncing effect.
While the bouncing has been greatly reduced by the stadium reinforcements, it is still noticeable - sometimes enough to shake TV cameras during televised games. For the 2010 Conference USA Football Championship Game, ESPN set up a camera position outside of the stadium to eliminate camera bounce caused by fans.
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