Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
The Florida Classic football game is held at the Florida Citrus Bowl close to Downtown Orlando. Available parking is always an issue at this event, as the classic tends to attract between 60,000 to 75,000 fans. The stadium offers limited parking at best, so for those not willing to fight the traffic, a shuttle bus can always provide much needed convenient transportation.
HISTORY OF THE FLORIDA CLASSIC: The Florida Classic, is the annual rivalry game between the Rattlers of Florida A&M and the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman. While the two teams have met on the gridiron since 1925, rotating home fields, the game turned into the Florida Classic in 1978 when Tampa was selected as neutral turf. In 1997 the game was moved to Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl. The series was suspended for a year during negotiations.
|AT A GLANCE: FLORIDA CLASSIC COLLEGES || |
Location: Daytona Beach
Colors: Maroon and Gold
President: Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed
|FLORIDA A&M |
Colors: Orange and Green
President: Dr. James Ammons
Whether you're talking to a Bethune-Cookman University Wildcat or a Florida A&M University Rattler fan, those heading to Orlando for the Florida Classic all want their team to be triumphant.
And regardless of which side you talk to, the response is sure to be, "We are going to win."
End of discussion.
But wait, this is about way more than football.
Both historically black institutions, one a state school the other private, are famous for their marching bands, which have large followings, perhaps even larger than those of the football teams. Florida Classic Halftime Show
And the day will include tailgating parties, good natured trash talk and plenty of hype as the two teams take the field this afternoon at the Florida Citrus Bowl for their annual showdown. HISTORIC RIVALRYThe annual rivalry game between the Rattlers of Florida A&M and the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University - formerly known as Bethune-Cookman College - dates back to 1925, with the two teams rotating home fields.
In 1978 the gridiron battle between the two teams evolved into the Florida Classic. Sadly, today's game comes three days after the death of former FAMU athletic director Hansel Tookes, who created the Florida Classic.
The Classic was initially played in Tampa. In 1997, the game relocated to the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando and picked up Walt Disney World as a major sponsor. Game attendance topped 71,200 in 2006.