Bright House Networks Stadium
|"The Bounce House"|
|Location||4465 Knights Victory Way
Orlando, Florida 32816
|Public transit||UCF Transit Center, Lynx|
|Owner||University of Central Florida|
|Operator||University of Central Florida|
|Record attendance||48,453 (2009)|
|Scoreboard||100 feet (30 m) x 37 feet (11 m)|
|Broke ground||March 22, 2006|
|Opened||September 15, 2007|
|Construction cost||$55 million
($64.3 million in 2015 dollars)
|UCF Knights (NCAA) (2007–present)
MEAC/SWAC Challenge (2014)
Bright House Networks Stadium, sometimes referred to as "The Bouncehouse", is an American football stadium located in Orlando, Florida, United States, on the main campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF). It is the home venue for the UCF Knights football team. The stadium was the first on-campus stadium in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I FBS to open in the 21st century, and was the second newest BCS stadium in the country.
The stadium opened in 2007 with a seating capacity of 45,323. The steel and brick clad stadium was designed by 360 Architecture and constructed in 18 months. UCF previously played their home games at the Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando.
The attendance record as of 2014[update] was 48,453, for an October 18, 2009 match-up against the Miami Hurricanes. The stadium will undergo an $8 million renovation following the 2014 season. The Wayne Densch Center for Student-Athlete Leadership will be built on the east facade of the stadium, and a party deck will be added to the east stands.
Bright House Networks Stadium is located on the northern edge of the University of Central Florida's 1,415-acre (573 ha) main campus, which is approximately 13 miles (21 km) northeast of downtown Orlando and 55 miles (89 km) 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 CFE 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 expansion
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 45,323 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.
The capacity for the 2015 season will drop by about 1,000. UCF is taking out about 2,000 seats from the east side of the stadium and replacing them with a new club seating section with a capacity of about 1,000. The new section, known as the East Side Club, will include a beach area.
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 2013, the South Carolina Gamecocks.
|1||48,543||October 17, 2009||9 Miami 27, UCF 7|
|2||47,605||September 28, 2013||12 South Carolina 28, UCF 25|
|3||46,805||September 6, 2008||17 South Florida 31, UCF 24|
|4||46,103||November 3, 2007||Marshall 13, UCF 47|
|5||45,952||November 29, 2013||South Florida 20, 17 UCF 23|
|6||45,671||September 10, 2011||Boston College 3, UCF 30|
|7||45,622||September 15, 2007||6 Texas 35, UCF 32|
|8||45,510||October 20, 2007||Tulsa 23, UCF 44|
|9||44,665||November 9, 2013||Houston 14, 19 UCF 19|
|10||44,510||September 20, 2014||Bethune-Cookman 7, UCF 41|
The "Bounce House"
The stadium has been referred to by some as "The Trampoline" or "The Bounce House" because the stadium flexes when fans jump during Zombie Nation's song "Kernkraft 400". 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, television presenterESPN2 set-up a camera position outside of the stadium to eliminate camera bounce caused by fans.
- UCF Knights
- Greater Orlando
- History of the University of Central Florida
- List of NCAA Division I FBS football stadiums
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- Heinz Field, home to the Pitt Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers, opened in 2001, but is not on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Rentschler Field, home to the UConn Huskies, opened in 2003, but is not on the University of Connecticut campus. SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium opened in 2000, which was in the 20th century. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest BCS stadium, opening in 2009.
- "UCF exploring open-air bar in Bright House Networks Stadium". Orlando Sentinel. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "UCF President John Hitt eager to open Wayne Densch Student Athlete Leadership Center". Orlando Sentinel. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
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- Convocation Center Update CFE Arena
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- Associated Press (September 15, 2007). "Horns' McCoy, Charles team up to end UCF's upset bid". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
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- Zaragoza, Luis (November 30, 2007). "Jumpy Fans Worry UCF". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 30, 2007.
- Zaragoza, Luis (August 2, 2009). "UCF to Take Bounce Out of Stadium". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- "C-USA Football Championship Blog". Conference USA. December 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
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