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Miami Hurricanes Leaving the Orange Bowl

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Armchair_QB, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen anything about this but the University of Miami is giving up one of college football's best home field advantages and abandoning the Orange Bowl for Dolphins Stadium.


    This is actually a Florida Sun-Sentinel story.

    Hurricanes leaving Orange Bowl for Dolphin Stadium

    By Sarah Talalay | Sun-Sentinel.com

    CORAL GABLES - Rather than wait for renovations of the aging Orange Bowl, the Hurricanes will play football at Dolphin Stadium starting next year.

    The executive committee of the University of Miami's board of trustees voted Tuesday to make Dolphin Stadium the Hurricanes' new home in 2008, rather than pursue the city of Miami's offer of a $206 million upgrade of the Orange Bowl, where the team has played for 70 years.

    "This is a painful and sad decision. We all love the Orange Bowl, its history and tradition, " UM President Donna Shalala said in a statement. "Mayor Diaz and the commissioners of the City of Miami made an extraordinary effort to identify funds and design a renovation. But in the end it wasn't enough."

    While some trustees had expressed concern about losing the history and tradition of the Orange Bowl, others worried the city's offer wasn't solid enough and the money wasn't guaranteed. The city's offer included $45 million in historic tax credits, for which the venue would need historic designation and the amount was not assured. It also required the UM give up more of the revenue it earns at the stadium to help pay for the project, including a $3 per ticket surcharge up from its current $1; 10 percent of ticket sales; 50 percent of club seat ticket sales and all of its club suite revenue.

    Additionally, the proposal was aimed at making the venue safe and adding suites and club seats to the stadium's south side and upgraded restrooms and concessions across the venue, but was not a complete overhaul of the stadium.

    Meanwhile, Dolphin Stadium is 20 years old, boasts giant high definition scoreboards, and is undergoing a $300 million renovation that has already included upgraded suites, and plushy bar and lounge areas with dozens of high definition TVs across the club level.

    "We are committed to providing the best facilities for our student-athletes and fans," said UM Athletic Director Paul Dee in a statement. "The decision to move to Dolphin Stadium was made for that reason. Our student-athletes will be playing in one of the best facilities in the country and the 'fan experience' will be first-class."

    UM officials expect the move to help improve recruiting. "Hurricanes football has a strong tradition of attracting top student-athletes. The move to the stadium and the superior facilities that it offers will greatly enhance our recruiting efforts," said football coach Randy Shannon.

    Details of the lease agreement at Dolphin Stadium were not disclosed but it is for 25 years and a source says the university stands to gain $4 million to $5 million more annually at Dolphin Stadium than it does currently at the Orange Bowl.

    For all its history, including hosting five Super Bowls, the 1972 Dolphins' perfect season, three UM national championships, and a 58-game Hurricanes' winning streak, the Orange Bowl has been losing its tenants in recent decades. The Dolphins moved to what was then called Joe Robbie Stadium in 1987. The stadium's namesake college bowl game, the Orange Bowl Game moved to Dolphin Stadium in 1996.

    UM's decision will free up the Orange Bowl as a possible location for a new ballpark for the Marlins. Earlier this year, Miami-Dade County and Miami city officials said if the Hurricanes moved, they would favor leveling the Orange Bowl to make way for a Marlins ballpark.
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    The best part of that story: No long-distance phone calls were required.[/sun-sentinelbeancounter]
  3. D-Backs Hack

    D-Backs Hack Guest

    From an atmosphere standpoint, it won't be as fun to watch games. Do they even fill the Orange Bowl anymore when Florida State or Virginia Tech isn't the opponent? Average attendance was 41,900 in 2006, according to the NCAA PDF I just looked at. Those crowds are going to be even less of a factor in that cavernous stadium. That future home game against Duke will be a rager.

    From a financial standpoint, considering college athletic departments race to money like Lindsay Lohan's lips to a bottle of Jack Daniels (thanks, SportsJournalists.commer who wrote that; I can't remember who), I guess it had to be done.
  4. Oz

    Oz Active Member

    SI.com's Stewart Mandel had a blog entry about this recently ...


    ... it would be a shame for the Hurricanes to leave the O.B. because it's brought them such a great home-field advantage and was such a unique atmosphere. But I can understand why they would move from a financial standpoint.
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I heard a Miami radio guy a few minutes ago on the air and he made the point that the bulk of UM's fan base and recruiting territory is actually in Broward and north and west Dade County. He thinks the move might actually help attendance.

    Not sure I agree with that though. Miami's not a sports town. It's an event town. People will still turn out for "big" games but, like you said, games against Duke, BC, FAMU, The Citadel, etc. will draw flies.

    Also thought it was interesting that the city might tear down the Orange Bowl to clear the way for a new park for the Marlins.
  6. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Does this mean Florida International moves in?
  7. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Too bad. Looked like a cool place to watch a game.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I doubt it. Looks like it'll be torn down.
  9. JoelHammond

    JoelHammond Member

    Don't come in to the OB thinking you're going to play in it.
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I made one trip to the Orange Bowl for a Miami game back in 2000. They were playing, oddly enough, Michael Vick and Virginia Tech. Vick wound up not playing due to an ankle injury and Miami won fairly easily.

    That was the day Gameday did their morning show there then flew up to Tallahassee and did the evening show outside Doak Campbell before the first Bowden Bowl.

    Everything Mandel wrote in his blog is true. The first thing I thought when I got off the elevator in the press box was "They played Super Bowls in this fucking dump?"

    Much like the neighborhood around it, the place really had a hostile, rundown vibe to it if you were a visitor and that may have been the angriest college football crowd I've ever seen. I talked to one of the Gameday producers during a break and he called it the ugliest crowd they'd ever had up to that point. People we actually lobbing empty beer bottles at the stage.

    They'll have a tough time replicating that at Joe Rob-, er, Dolphin Stadium.
  11. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    Actually, FIU is moving in there this season. The Golden Panthers are building a new stadium that won't be finished until 2008, so they're playing their home games at the O.B., much to Lamar Thomas' dismay.
  12. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    TV did a wonderful job of disguising what an incredible dump the place was/is.

    And that vaunted home-field advantage is only as good as the team. OB got more credit for that than it ever deserved, too.
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