During a press conference on Wednesday morning, the Orlando Sports Foundation announced the 2019 Cure Bowl will be played at Orlando City Stadium.
Liberty and the Cure Bowl entered into a two-year bowl agreement on July 12, 2018, giving the Flames a secondary bowl agreement during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The 2019 Cure Bowl will be the first non-soccer sporting event to take place at Orlando City Stadium, since its opening in March 2017. Kickoff for the fifth-annual Cure Bowl will be December 21, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
During the first four years of the Cure Bowl, the bowl game was played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
"We are excited about the Orlando Sports Foundation's partnership with Orlando City Stadium and the unique atmosphere that will be created for the Cure Bowl," CEO of the Orlando Sports Foundation and Executive Director of the Cure Bowl Alan Gooch stated. "I can't wait to see a college football game in Orlando City Stadium. We believe all fans will have a great experience and this will help us to continue our mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer."
Orlando City Stadium located in the heart downtown Orlando is home to the Orlando City Soccer Club of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The state-of-the-art venue is within walking distance of the historic Church Street Entertainment District.
"We are very excited to welcome the Cure Bowl to Orlando City Stadium as the first non-soccer sporting event to be hosted in our beautiful venue," Orlando City SC Chief Revenue Officer Chris Gallagher said. "Through flagship events like the Cure Bowl, the Orlando Sports Foundation works tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research, and we are happy to do what we can to support such a meaningful initiative. We can't wait to see a new kind of football on our pitch this December."
In its first four years, the Cure Bowl has been used as a platform to raise $3.6 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Orlando community has benefited from the funds generated at the game with local BCRF researcher Dr. Annette Khaled at the UCF College of Medicine receiving over $1.1 million of the funds distributed.
"The move allows us to add a game day block party which will start at Church Street and conclude with a March 2 Cure to Orlando City Stadium," Gooch added. "These events will help drive revenue to Downtown Orlando business owners, while enhancing the experience of Cure Bowl attendees on game day."
The March 2 Cure will be a free, pre-game event featuring music, entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. The event will culminate with an organized walk from the Church Street Entertainment District to the game at Orlando City Stadium. Each team playing in the Cure Bowl will have their band participate in the march alongside fans, cancer survivors and supporters decked out in pink gear.
The Orlando Sports Foundation will host an open house on May 8 from 5-7 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium to celebrate our new home. This community event will allow Orlando Sports Foundation members, fans and the general public to tour the facility, pose for photos and view seat options for the Cure Bowl on Saturday, December 21.
The Cure Bowl features a matchup between teams from the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference. However, in years in which either conference does not have enough deserving teams, defined as meeting the six qualifying win threshold, other FBS teams, including Liberty, may be substituted before consideration would be given to five-win teams.
For more information about the Orlando Sports Foundation or the Cure Bowl and affiliated events visit www.CureBowl.com.
More Thoughts on the Cure Bowl's Move to the Orlando City Stadium
"We are proud to partner with the Cure Bowl and fully support its efforts on behalf of its worthy charity, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We expect that this move to Orlando City Stadium and the vibrant downtown district will enhance the bowl week in all aspects, particularly the game day atmosphere for our schools and our fans." - American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco
"This is an exciting announcement for the Cure Bowl. The Cure Bowl is a first-class bowl game and Orlando City Stadium is a first-class stadium. This is a great fit and the Sun Belt is proud to be a part of it." - Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill
"We are grateful for our relationship with the Cure Bowl and excited about the opportunity to compete for a berth this year under head coach Hugh Freeze. Congratulations to the Cure Bowl on the move to Orlando City Stadium. This venue will create a dynamic and intimate atmosphere for the game within walking distance from downtown Orlando." - Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw
About the Cure Bowl
The Cure Bowl is more than a game. It is a platform to raise awareness for cancer research and recognize those that are fighting cancer or have survived cancer. Played on the third Saturday in December each year in Orlando, this NCAA college football bowl game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Funds raised from the Cure Bowl directly benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide, and the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the United States, investing 91 cents of every donated dollar directly into core programs.
The Cure Bowl has helped to put Orlando at the center of some of the world's greatest advancements in cancer science. Since 2015, the bowl has raised a collective $3.6 million. Over $1.1 million of the funds raised have gone to Dr. Annette Khaled, professor at the UCF College of Medicine's Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences and head of the medical school's cancer research division.
About Orlando Sports Foundation
The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research. The OSF holds several events throughout the year, including the Cure Bowl, which is an NCAA college football bowl game played each December.
With the combined support of Central Floridians, loyal sports fans and strategic partners, the OSF is further dedicated and committed to serving the challenges of cancer awareness and elimination, invigorating the Central Florida athletic community and supporting youth organizations with standards of benevolence, integrity and moral excellence.
About Orlando City Stadium
Opened in March 2017, Orlando City Stadium is home to Orlando City of Major League Soccer (MLS) and Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The 25,500 seat soccer-specific stadium is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando and was the first MLS stadium to open with five consecutive victories.
Orlando City Stadium was 100 percent privately funded at a cost of $155 million. It features a 360-degree lower bowl, North America's first safe-standing supporters' section – dubbed "The Wall" – and a four-sided canopy roof to keep the noise in and weather out. In Section 12, there are 49 rainbow-colored seats to memorialize the victims of the tragedy at Pulse Night Club. The stadium also houses the Club's Front Office.
To date, the stadium has hosted the U.S. Men's National Team, 2017 NWSL Championship, NCAA Women's College Cup, 2018 MLS Combine, Florida Cup and 2018 SheBelieves Cup.
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