|Bright House Networks Stadium|
|Location||4000 Central Florida Boulevard|
Orlando, Florida 32816
|Broke ground||March 22, 2006</td></tr>|
|Opened||September 15, 2007</td></tr>|
|Owner||University of Central Florida</td></tr>|
|Operator||University of Central Florida</td></tr>|
|Scoreboard||Script error x Script error</td></tr>|
|Construction cost||$55 million</td></tr>|
|UCF Knights (NCAA) (2007–present)</td></tr>
</table> Bright House Networks Stadium is the football stadium for the University of Central Florida’s football team, nicknamed the Knights. Located in Knights Plaza on the main campus of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, the stadium was the first on-campus stadium in NCAA Division I FBS to open in the 21st century.
The steel and brick clad stadium was designed by 360 Architecture and boasts a seating capacity of 45,323. The current attendance record is 48,453, for an October 18, 2009 match-up against the Miami Hurricanes. The Knights moved to the stadium in 2007 from their previous facility, the Citrus Bowl, which is located near downtown Orlando. The stadium is also the proposed host of the Cure Bowl.
Bright House Networks Stadium is located on the northern edge of the University of Central Florida's Script error main campus, which is approximately Script error northeast of downtown Orlando and Script error southwest of Daytona Beach. The stadium is a part of UCF's Athletic 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 UCF Arena, the indoor arena of UCF Knights basketball, and The Venue, home of the Knights volleyball program. Also located to the west, are Jay Bergman Field, the home field of Knights baseball, 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.
Construction and expansionEdit
The UCF Knights made notable changes to its athletic programs and facilities in 2007. A newly developed "athletic village" on the north end of campus known as Knights Plaza was opened which consisted of new sports facilities, including the new UCF Arena, the new 45,301 seat Bright House Networks Stadium, a new softball complex, and the only Division I indoor football practice facility in the state. This made UCF the first university to ever open a new stadium and arena during the same year, for the 2007-2008 season.
Initially projected to have a cost of $40 to $45 million, the most recent cost estimations of Bright House Networks Stadium run as high as $55 million. Construction of the new stadium was briefly delayed due to the concerns of local residents regarding potentially falling property values and noise levels from the stadium. The stadium was originally built without water fountains. The university argued that the building code used when the stadium was approved did not require water fountains. However, this claim turned out to be incorrect. 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 1000 seats, or half that number of fountains if water were also available for sale. During the opening game, vendors ran out of water at half time; 18 people were hospitalized for heat exhaustion during the game. 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 fifty water fountains throughout the stadium, in order to comply with the 2004 building code requirement.
On August 8, 2006, UCF announced a fifteen-year, $15 million stadium naming rights deal with cable company Bright House Networks. The stadium was designed for a planned expansion to 65,000 seats. Over the next 10 years, UCF plans to expand the Roth Tower with more suites and club seating, and also add an additional 10,000 seats in a third level on the east side of the stadium, increasing its capacity to 56,000.
On May 9, 2006, 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, and televised nationally on ESPN2 at 3:30 pm EDT (1930 UTC). A sellout crowd of 45,622 saw the Knights put a scare into the Longhorns before falling 35–32.
Although the Knights lost their first on-campus home game, they finished the remainder of the stadium's inaugural season undefeated, including the Conference USA home opener against Memphis. The Knights hosted the 2007 C-USA Championship at their new stadium, defeating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 44-25 in front of a crowd of 44,128. In 2010, the Knights again hosted the C-USA Championship, defeating the SMU Mustangs 17–7 before a crowd of 41,045. The highest attendance for games played at Bright House Networks Stadium against the Knights have included the University of South Florida Bulls, the Miami Hurricanes, and in 2010, the East Carolina Pirates.
Top ten attended gamesEdit
The Cure Bowl was a proposed college football bowl game that would have been played in December of each year starting in 2010. The Cure Bowl's application was denied by the NCAA on April 23, 2010. Bowl organizers vow to continue their efforts to host the Cure Bowl in Orlando.
The Cure Bowl would have been a bowl game to benefit the Central Florida affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society, featuring a team from Conference USA against a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The inaugural Cure Bowl was to take place at Bright House Networks Stadium on December 18, 2010.
The stadium has been referred to by some as "The Trampoline" or "Bouncehouse" because of fans jumping during Zombie Nation's song Kernkraft 400. The all-steel seating areas are known to reverberate and noticeably bounce. 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, it is still noticeable, and sometimes enough to shake TV cameras during televised games. For the 2010 Conference USA Football Championship Game, ESPN2 for their television production set-up a camera position outside of the stadium to eliminate camera bounce caused by fans.
There is a popular movement on the UCF campus to refer to Bright House Networks Stadium as "The Dungeon," "The Trampoline," or "The Bright House."