Plenty to do during Florida Classic weekend

B-CU, FAMU event kicks off with job fair, Battle of the Bands

SPECIAL TO THE COURIER

Tens of thousands of fans both near and far will descend upon Orlando this month for the big game with a big impact supporting educational opportunities and having an annual economic impact of about $30 million for the Central Florida region.

B-CU quarterback Quentin William Williams (3) runs with the ball during last year’s Florida Classic football game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.(FILE PHOTO)
B-CU quarterback Quentin William Williams (3) runs with the ball during last year’s Florida Classic football game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
(FILE PHOTO)

Billed as the nation’s largest HBCU sports event, the Florida Blue Florida Classic annual matchup played between the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats and the Florida A&M University Rattlers returns on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. FAMU and B-CU will meet for the 70th time and the 36th in the Florida Classic.

“The Florida Blue Florida Classic is always exciting for both universities because of the funds it raises for our scholarship programs and the significant impact it adds to the Central Florida economy,” said Milton Overton, FAMU’s athletic director. “It’s more than just a game and is part of our multi-layered approach to partner with the community.”

Plenty of jobs
In addition to the football game, the weekend lineup of events emphasizes community partnership.

The Career Expo and Job Fair presented on Friday, Nov. 20, at the Amway Center is a collaboration with Orlando Jobs to connect job seekers with employers hiring for over 4,000 jobs across various sectors.

Among the recruiting list of companies includes the City of Orlando, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Visit Orlando, Verizon, Florida Virtual School, Marriott International, Region’s Bank and Orlando Health.

On the same day is the Florida Consortium Kickoff Luncheon presented by Florida Blue and brings together community partners, supporters and local organizations. Other events include the Florida Blue Battle of the Bands on Friday night, a pre-game FanFare with activities for the entire family, and the McDonald’s Halftime Show featuring the Marching 100 and the Marching Wildcats.

New head coaches
“We continue to enhance the game experience to drive value for our fans and to create greater impact for the community each year,” shared Lynn Thompson, B-CU’s athletic director. “Last year’s game was the first played at the newly renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl, which enhanced the game experience for fans. This year’s game is significant because both teams are playing under the leadership of two new head coaches – Coach Alex Wood with the Rattlers and Coach Terry Sims with the Wildcats.”

The Florida Blue Florida Classic is a game of tradition with a long storied history dating back to the first Classic played in 1978. Since then, more than 1,500,000 fans have attended the game. In addition to the economic impact the game has on its host city, Orlando, proceeds continue to support educational opportunities at both universities.

Last year’s game was the first played in the new Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium and featured a better fan experience with larger, more comfortable seats with chair backs, an additional six inches of legroom in the lower bowl, multiple club suites and lounges, better concessions, new team facilities, and video displays on each upper deck.

Tickets are still on sale and available for purchase starting at $15 at Ticketmaster or at www.FloridaClassic.org.

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