What's new

UM considers move from Orange Bowl to Dolphin Stadium

BasesLoadedWalk

Muckdog
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
582
Reaction score
0
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/spo...mi/16824840.htm

UM FOOTBALL
UM considers move from Orange Bowl to Dolphin Stadium

The University of Miami is considering a change of venue if a deal can't be reached to renovate the Orange Bowl -- its home for the past 70 years.

BY BARRY JACKSON
bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

The University of Miami is strongly considering moving its football games to Dolphin Stadium, according to several UM and Dolphins officials with knowledge of the conversations, and a decision about whether to leave the Orange Bowl is expected within the next three months.

UM's lease with the Orange Bowl runs through 2009, but there's a possibility the Hurricanes could leave a year or two earlier if a deal with Dolphin Stadium is struck, one official briefed on the situation said. UM definitely will play next season at the OB, where it has played since the stadium opened in 1937.

Discussions with Dolphin Stadium are serious and ongoing, but no agreement has been reached and UM officials intend to continue meeting with the city of Miami about proposed Orange Bowl renovations.

Two officials cautioned that the city still has a chance to keep the Hurricanes if it can somehow bridge a funding gap of at least $84 million to pay for stadium upgrades. But the city is still exploring potential ways to do that and hasn't made a proposal to UM.

Dolphin Stadium has offered a viable financial package. That, combined with the large funding gap on the OB project, has left several key UM and Dolphin Stadium officials believing there's a good chance the Hurricanes will move to Dolphin Stadium, barring a sudden turn of events, several officials said.

The decision ultimately will be made by university president Donna Shalala, who previously informed key members of UM's Board of Trustees that negotiations had been held with Dolphin Stadium.

Shalala declined to comment Friday, but UM representative Margot Winick said, "We have been working with the city to explore renovation plans with the Orange Bowl. At the same time, we have an obligation to consider all options that would provide our fans and team with a high-quality facility.''

UM has been working with the city of Miami to fund Orange Bowl improvements for several years, but delays and rising costs of renovations have caused UM to consider a move to Dolphin Stadium more seriously than at any previous time, the officials said.

One person close to the negotiations said UM projected that its athletic department could make a $4 million annual profit by moving to Dolphin Stadium -- much higher than if it stays at the Orange Bowl.

BIG FUNDING GAP

Miami city manager Pete Hernandez said he's aware the University of Miami has been considering Dolphin Stadium, but that the city is trying to come up with a way to finance the stadium upgrades, which would include structural repairs; building new suites, restrooms, concession areas; and installing a new scoreboard and some chair-back seats, among other improvements.

The city has identified $84 million toward the project -- including $50 million from a county bond issue -- but the renovations are expected to cost more than twice that.

''There's a big gap,'' Hernandez said. "We're looking at the revenue streams to see what we can do. I'm optimistic. There are ways it can be done. Within 45 to 60 days, we'll have an idea of the viability of this.''

Hernandez has said a ''minor contribution'' from UM would be expected to fund the gap. The issue, though, is how much the city has available to give for sports facilities.

The city announced last week that it would offer $108 million toward a Marlins stadium from new tourist tax dollars and from tourist tax money previously allocated to Miami Arena.

After Marlins stadium talks with the city broke down two years ago, then-city manager Joe Arriola said he wanted to use some of that money toward OB renovations instead.

Is it possible the city won't be able to come up with the money for OB renovations -- a scenario that several Dolphin Stadium people expect will be reality?

''There's always that possibility, but we're not even thinking about that,'' Hernandez said, adding the city is exploring whether the costs can be reduced. "I know they have to consider all their options. It's a business, after all.''

TIME RUNNING OUT

Hernandez declined to disclose potential ideas to fill the funding gap, but has said any such scenario likely would require city commission approval. But the clock is ticking.

Hernandez said UM told him it wants resolution by June, but an official close to the situation said the Hurricanes would prefer it be resolved within 60 days. Hernandez said he hasn't met with UM officials in three weeks and doesn't know when the next meeting will happen, although he expects it will be soon.

Associates of Shalala said in past years, she has expressed a preference to stay at the Orange Bowl partly because it's closer to campus than Dolphin Stadium.

She also was concerned about the possibility of sharing Dolphin Stadium with the Marlins, but that concern would be allayed if the baseball team gets a new stadium, which appears closer than at any time in recent years.

Wayne Huizenga, who owns Dolphin Stadium, declined to discuss efforts to lure the Hurricanes. But Dolphin Stadium officials are known to have interest.

Dolphin Stadium seats 75,540 -- compared with the Orange Bowl's 72,883. UM has said that the Orange Bowl capacity would shrink to about 62,500 if renovations are made.

Without UM, the Orange Bowl's future would be uncertain. The stadium, which lost the Dolphins in 1987 and the Orange Bowl Classic in 1996, also plays host to high school football and international soccer games, among other events.
 

McFly

Muckdog
Joined
Dec 24, 2006
Messages
1,703
Reaction score
0
As if the playing field wasn't in crap shape already...
 

Buckeye

Muckdog
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
4,985
Reaction score
0
Smart idea, putting them in the middle of nowhere...
 

Mephisto

Muckdog
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
3,337
Reaction score
0
It looks like the USA might get the world cup in 2018, and if it does the orange bowl should renovate to become more suitable for soccer. The best thing for the orange bowl might be to lure a soccer club there and forget about UM.
 

louiecastillo1

Muckdog
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
4,780
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.
 

TarHeel324

Muckdog
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
3,476
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.
I say put the ballpark next to Govt Center as planned and keep the Canes in the City of Miami
 

McFly

Muckdog
Joined
Dec 24, 2006
Messages
1,703
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.
 

louiecastillo1

Muckdog
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
4,780
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.
 

McFly

Muckdog
Joined
Dec 24, 2006
Messages
1,703
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.

Haven't both of those cities already pulled out of the running should the Marlins look to relocate? I could've sworn I read that a few months ago.
 

louiecastillo1

Muckdog
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
4,780
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.

Haven't both of those cities already pulled out of the running should the Marlins look to relocate? I could've sworn I read that a few months ago.

They can always get back in the running should the marlins not get a stadium deal
done here. Anyway, what I meant was that I'd rather they build it on the OB
site instead of in another city.
 

Hammerhead

Muckdog
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
14,972
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.

Haven't both of those cities already pulled out of the running should the Marlins look to relocate? I could've sworn I read that a few months ago.

They can always get back in the running should the marlins not get a stadium deal
done here. Anyway, what I meant was that I'd rather they build it on the OB
site instead of in another city.
If the Marlins were to move now, which is about as likely as winning the lottery at this point, it would be to Portland and nowhere else. Las Vegas and San Antonio conceded months ago.
 

Fishfan79

Muckdog
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
6,916
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.

Haven't both of those cities already pulled out of the running should the Marlins look to relocate? I could've sworn I read that a few months ago.

They can always get back in the running should the marlins not get a stadium deal
done here. Anyway, what I meant was that I'd rather they build it on the OB
site instead of in another city.
If the Marlins were to move now, which is about as likely as winning the lottery at this point, it would be to Portland and nowhere else. Las Vegas and San Antonio conceded months ago.
Portland conceded before they landed if you remember right :)

As for UM to Joe Robbie I dont have a problem wit hit
 

Hammerhead

Muckdog
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
14,972
Reaction score
0
I say let them move to DS, demolish the OB, and build the new marlins stadium
at the OB site.

Yeah, um...that's a really bad location for a stadium as it is.

Better there than in Las Vegas or San Antonio.

Haven't both of those cities already pulled out of the running should the Marlins look to relocate? I could've sworn I read that a few months ago.

They can always get back in the running should the marlins not get a stadium deal
done here. Anyway, what I meant was that I'd rather they build it on the OB
site instead of in another city.
If the Marlins were to move now, which is about as likely as winning the lottery at this point, it would be to Portland and nowhere else. Las Vegas and San Antonio conceded months ago.
Portland conceded before they landed if you remember right :)

As for UM to Joe Robbie I dont have a problem wit hit
Yes, I remember. But I was saying if there were to be a move, it would be to Portland.
 

BasesLoadedWalk

Muckdog
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
582
Reaction score
0
You see, from the 'Canes' standpoint, I don't see how it would make sense for football to move to Joe Robbie. Yes, I understand that the OB is in bad shape. Yet, I doubt Shalala would really want to approve moving football games further away from campus. Then again, I didn't expect the program to move out of the Big (L)East.

I think they're staying put.
 

Top Bottom