Florida-Georgia game in Orlando? Yet another reason to renovate Camping World Stadium | Commentary

Running off at the typewriter …

Can you imagine the magnitude of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party coming to Orlando — the World’s Greatest Destination City — in a few years?

It could possibly happen, which is reason No. 1,937 that we need to upgrade Camping World Stadium.

It was reported earlier this week by Associated Press writer Mark Long that the Georgia-Florida game will likely be moving out of Jacksonville for at least a couple of seasons in 2026-27 while the city and the NFL’s Jaguars embark on what is expected to be a massive billion-dollar stadium renovation.

According to the report, the schools haven’t completely ruled out playing a home-and-home series in 2026 and 2027, but school administrators are focused on letting other cities bid on the game.

Long wrote: “In 2026, with Georgia scheduled to be the home team, the game likely would land at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, with a 50-50 ticket split as usual. The following year, with Florida as the home team, it could end up at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa or Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

“The reason is simple: The schools can make more money playing the game at neutral-site venues. The payout from Jacksonville is roughly $3 million for each school in 2023. …”

It should also be noted that the Jaguars themselves will likely be looking for a place to play their games in 2026-27 while their stadium is being renovated. Orlando, of course, is the natural spot to not only host the Jaguars but to host a mega-college football event such as Florida-Georgia.

I have confirmed that Orlando officials have been in contact with both schools about our city’s obvious advantages. We are, after all, the most centrally located metropolitan area in Florida with the best airport and the most hotel rooms.

However, our stadium badly needs to be upgraded.

Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that we still have outdated and unsightly bleacher seating in the upper deck of Camping World Stadium. And if we expect to compete with NFL stadiums in Tampa and Miami for mega events, there has to be more premium seating and luxury suites at Camping World. And, from a personal standpoint, I’m tired of getting razzed by all of my out-of-town media pals (like Mark Long of the Associated Press), who always ask me mockingly, “Why is there only one urinal in the pressbox bathroom but there’s empty space for a second urinal? Did you guys run out of money or what?”

It’s time for our county commissioners to step up and start investing some of that tourist development tax (TDT) money into maintaining and updating our venues. After all, our economy is based on hospitality, so let’s start giving visiting sports fans the hospitality they deserve.

The Orange County Convention Center has rightfully become a hot-button issue because commissioners pour so much TDT money into expanding and renovating the already palatial structure.

Well, shouldn’t our county commissioners start thinking of Camping World Stadium as a convention center for sports and entertainment in our community? It, too, needs to be updated and renovated to make it competitive with our rival cities.

If we want to host sports conventions like the Georgia-Florida game, we have to make Camping World Stadium not only an adequate venue but an attractive venue. …

Short stuff: A trick-or-treater came by my home on Halloween wearing the most frighteningly ghoulish costume I’ve ever seen. He was dressed up as UCF’s run defense. … How is Tyreek Hill sort of like Jim Harbaugh? One is the Cheetah and the other is the Cheater. … The way Deion Sanders’ Colorado team is playing these days, “Prime Time” might need to change his nickname to “Middle-of-the-Night Weight-Loss Infomercial.” … Quote of the Week from Billy Napier on his failed, momentum-shifting 4th-and-1 call early in the first quarter against Georgia: “Ultimately you get judged on the outcome of those decisions. When it works, everybody pats you on the back. When it doesn’t work, they throw you out in the trash.” … Headline from “Motivated Kawhi Leonard Circles Date Of National TV Matchup On Calendar To Sit Out.” … Call me a Florida homer if you want, but I’m thinking the Dolphins and the Jaguars are on a collision course to play each other in the AFC Championship Game. …

Holy guacamole, did you see where Orlando’s Cure Bowl is now The Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl? … By the way, here’s a helpful hint from my good friend Taco Bob of WJRR on how to keep squirrels from eating your avocados. “Hang old CDs from the limbs of your avocado tree. The reflection freaks them out.” Especially if they’re Nickelback or Limp Bizkit CDs. … FSU debuted at No. 4 in the inaugural College Football Playoff poll. The one thing I would worry about if I’m an FSU fan: By the end of the season, there’s a chance the Seminoles won’t have a single victory over a ranked team. FSU already wants out of the ACC, but can you imagine how furious the Seminoles would be if the ACC’s weakness cost them a spot in the playoff? … I’m not saying nobody is watching the Rangers-Diamondbacks World Series, but I think it just got beat in the ratings by a two-hour PBS documentary on antique door knobs. … The new MLS Cup playoff schedule makes no sense at all to me or anybody I’ve talked to. Why is the first round of the playoffs a best-of-three series while the remaining rounds are one-game knockouts? This is as nonsensical as Mike Tyson trying to teach quantum physics to John Daly. … The New York Giants were down to third-team quarterback Tommy DeVito in last week’s 13-10 loss to the Jets. I think Danny DeVito would have been more effective. …

Kudos to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney for blasting a caller to his radio show — a Gen Z-sounding fan identifying himself as Tyson in Spartanburg — who phoned in and asked about why Swinney was making $11 million a season when the team is 4-4. Dabo snapped and went on an emotional diatribe about the state of the many modern-day sports fans: “You’re part of the problem,” Swinney told the caller. “The expectation is greater than the appreciation. That’s the problem. We’ve had 12 10-plus-win seasons in a row. That’s happened three times in 150 years. Clemson ain’t sniffed a national championship for 35 years; and we’ve won two in seven years. And there’s only two other teams that can say that — Georgia and Alabama. … I started as the lowest-paid coach in this business [and] I worked my ass off. I’m not going to let this smart-ass kid get on the phone and tell me how to do my job.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, Coach! …

In the end, James Harden got his way and forced a trade to his preferred destination — the L.A. Clippers. Knute Rockne: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” James Harden: “When the going gets tough, whine, cry, malinger and quit your way out of town.” … Top 3 strategic mistakes in history: (1) Napoleon and his army invade Russia in the dead of winter while wearing swim trunks and flip-flops; (2) The Captain of the Titanic scoffs, “Iceberg, Schmiceberg!” (3) UCF joins the Power 5 with a Group of 5 roster. … This week’s Super 6 NFL Power Index, according to the BCS (Bianchi Charting System): (1) Josh McDaniels’ $40 million contract buyout; (2) Philadelphia Eagles; (3) Miami Dolphins; (4) Kansas City Chiefs; (5) Jacksonville Jaguars; (6) Detroit Lions. … This week’s Super 6 BCS College Football Power Index: (1) Michigan Scouting Department; (2) Florida State; (3) Georgia; (4) Ohio State; (5) Washington; (6) Texas. … Mikey likes: Cincinnati over UCF by 3 in Upset Special, Florida over Arkansas by 7, FSU over Pitt by 30, NC State over Miami by 5 in Upset Special II, Dolphins over Chiefs by 5 in Upset Special III, Texans over Bucs by 3, Jim Harbaugh in the NFL by February. ..,

Last word: In the wake of actor Matthew Perry’s death earlier this week, let us never forget this quote from his “Friends” character Chandler Bing: “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

Email me at Hit me up on X (formerly Twitter) @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9:30 a.m. on FM 96.9, AM 740 and