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Renovating the OB


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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sport...es/10000969.htm

 

Renovating the OB

 

BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

sdegnan@herald.com

 

 

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina State's Carter-Finley Stadium is undergoing renovations to some of its facilities, and Miami's Orange Bowl is headed in the same direction.

 

On Nov. 2, Miami voters will decide on a $680 million park improvement bond question, $50 million of which would go to renovate the Orange Bowl. The city of Miami, which owns the stadium, and the University of Miami have discussed chipping in nearly $90 million more as part of a $139 million stadium improvement package.

 

What would UM fans get for that money, if Amendment 2 is passed?

 

? A jumbo, state-of-the-art scoreboard with instant-replay capability;

 

? Chairback seating for most of sideline seats;

 

? New and expanded concession areas;

 

? Renovated restrooms;

 

? Luxury suites.

 

What would UM fans lose? About 12,000 permanent seats to allow for the chairback seats and other renovations.

 

UM athletic director Paul Dee said Saturday that he believes the plans submitted by the university's consulting firm call for about 62,500 permanent seats, although 57,000 had been a number reported.

 

The OB now seats just less than 74,000. Dee said the east end zone would still accommodate 3,000 temporary seats for big games.

 

''It's absolutely important [that voters approve the amendment],'' Dee said. ``Everything we can do to improve the conditions at the Orange Bowl is good for all the people of South Florida. If we do this improvement, professional soccer could come in there, perhaps concerts. The Orange Bowl could be a tremendous venue.''

 

Ticket prices possibly would increase to compensate for the lost ticket revenue, Dee said, though UM expects to sell more season tickets after the renovations. If voters reject the bond, Dee said, ``We'll have to reduce the scope of the work and see how much we can accomplish with other funds that we have.''

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