BCU vs. FAMU: Florida Blue Florida Classic signs return to normalcy

The return of the Florida Blue Florida Classic signals a return to normalcy for Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M football fans.

"We’re excited that now it’s back, we can continue to celebrate these two great schools. But also give us a time to come together, celebrate each other, reunite," FAMU grad and Orlando City Commissioner, Bakari Burns said.

The game didn’t happen last year. In fact, neither team had a season because of the pandemic.

Now, for the first time in two years, fans get to cheer on their team in-person for this rivalry game.

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"It’s a family reunion, a football game and almost Thanksgiving at the same time," Burns said.

Aside from the football game, the Battle of the Bands is always top billing. Thousands travel to Orlando just for the bands.

Florida Citrus Sports, who helps organize the event, is expecting over 53,000 fans this weekend. In a normal year, which this is trending towards, the two schools bring in about $1 million from the event.

"We feel really good about where we’re at and to make that kind of a statement coming out of the pandemic would say a lot and it would mean a lot," Florida Citrus Sports Chief Executive Officer, Steve Hogan said.

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Bakari Burns has attended the Florida Blue Florida Classic for 30 years. He says there’s nothing quite like the experience.

"I get text messages and Facebook messages all the time, we kind of go back and forth. But again, it’s all in love," Burns said.

The weekend kicks off Thursday night with the Florida Blue Night of Distinction. Burns and his office are giving away two scholarships — one to a BCU student and another to a FAMU student.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.