Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Scrap the Orange Bowl? Say it isn't so!

Today 70-years of history and fond memories of championship seasons rests in the hands of the 17-member executive committee of University of Miami Board of Trustees. They will gather on campus to decide the fate of the venerable Orange Bowl stadium. According to the Miami Herald the school will save $1.5 million a year by moving their football games to Dolphin Stadium. In the words of Greg Cote, one of the Herald's esteemed sports writers, that's "loose change under the sofa to major college football." But that's where they're looking instead of at the bigger picture. Maybe if the old stadium was in another city instead of one of the poorest in the nation, things would be different. Maybe if UM's newest president Donna Shalala had been around long enough to appreciate the stadium's history, the question of moving would never have came up. Officially, UM doubts the City of Miami can fulfill its promise to renovate the stadium. Like the Miami Marine Stadium, for years the city has allowed the Orange Bowl to rot away, ignoring it in the finest white trash tradition. Both stadiums are rusting, scavenged car wrecks up on blocks missing wheels in Miami's front yard. Although many of us take umbrage at being labeled third world, we are surely the white trash city of America. We never have enough money to fix that car on the lawn but, by God, we're going to keep it up on blocks and some day, when we get enough money, we're going to fix it.

Maybe UM should give the city more time to come up with the money. Of course, if they do, then that makes them white trash too. Or at least white trash enablers.

If the executive committee gives the Orange Bowl the heave ho, the saddest part will be the lack of vision displayed by both parties. As we have said earlier, keeping the Orange Bowl is keeping the opportunity to host an affordable Olympics. We'll know by the end of the day if history and the future can co-exist.

UpDate (5 minutes later): Vision- 0, Souless-Pandering-to-the-Bottom-Line: 1. UM will move to Dolphin Stadium commencing 2008. How sad. Now, the City should strike a deal with FIU. Fuck the 'Canes! Go the Golden Something-or-Others! Let today be the first day in the beginning of a new forward-thinking tradition where someday, the Golden Something-or-Others will become a collegiate football juggernaut that OWNS the Orange Bowl, whose style of play erases all memory of the team that once played there! Ye-Haw! Go Golden Something-or-others!

UpDate on the UpDate (30-mins later): Will someone please have a talk with City of Miami Manager Pete Hernandez. He keeps talking about tearing down the Orange Bowl to build a baseball stadium with a retractable roof. Hasn't he heard of the Miami Megaplex? Doesnt' he read Miami Vision Blogarama? As much as we want to preserve the Orange Bowl, we would be remiss not to point out its obvious shortcoming: no mass transit connection. Our downtown Miami Megaplex proposal includes one form of existing mass transit (MetroRail) and two forms of proposed mass transit: FEC commuter train from Palm Beach directly to the stadium (the tracks are already there) and a BayLink monorail connecting Miami Beach to the stadium. Keep the Orange Bowl for FIU and the Olympics. Build a new downtown baseball stadium next to the Miami Arena. It's much more cost effective and makes a helluva lot more sense.

UpDate (7/27/08): Glenn Straub, owner of the Miami Arena, announces he will tear it down to build a baseball stadium-- if he can strike a deal with the City of Miami and the Florida Marlins. Part of the deal he wants is to gain title to the Orange Bowl site (now torn down) to build affordable housing. Initial reaction from the Marlins and the city: not interested. Typical. And surprising since at one time the Marlins insisted on a downtown site.


Nokosee said...

Uh, that's Golden Panthers, dude.

Verticus S. Erectus said...

We knew they were Golden something or other. Thanks for letting us know. Maybe they should try to simplify the name and get "Miami" in there somewhere. "Golden Panthers" seems like a mouthful. Also, it needs to sound more menacing. Right now it implies the team plays like blocks of stone-carved statues. We like alliteration. How 'bout the FIU Miami Marauders? Or the FIU FuckYous! Instead of a foam number one finger waving around on a stick, the "FuckYous!" would have a foam hand giving opponents the "finger." Now that's a team we could get behind.

Duran said...

FIU is already building an on-campus stadium, so I doubt they'll want to play there after it's completed. Every collegiate football team hopes for an on-campus stadium, it brings unity and pride to a school. I can't understand why UM, with its wealthy alumni, could fork over a few million for one?

Verticus S. Erectus said...

Damn, okay, so what team is left? Carlos Albizu University? No, that sounds like some kind of wussy soccer school. How 'bout Florida International Fine Arts University? Unless you want to field a team that paints nice pictures, that won't cut it. Barry University? I don't know but at least they got God on their side. Who knows, maybe they could become the next Notre Dame. But who's got that much time? There's gotta be some school out there that dreams big, that wants to call the Orange Bowl home. But who could it be...?

Danny said...

Building a stadium for the Marlins in Downtown Miami makes too much sense therefore, the politicians in this town will never do it.

Building it where the Orange Bowl is currently located makes no sense at all therefore it will be done. But wait, remember how the Marlins need 60 mil more to make that happen? Is the City of Miami going to cough up that money? Since it doesn't make sense to build a new stadium at the OB site, I am betting they will come up with the 60 mil. That's the kind of city we live in.


One of the reasons that UM will never be able to build an on-campus stadium (which I would love as an alum) is because the City of Coral Gables would not allow it. They have strict height requirements and stuff which all the NIMBYs that live there will never give up. Heck, UM has a hard time building parking garages in Coral Gables.

Anonymous said...

As a future Orange Bowl Stadium impersonator I'd like to hear from O Bowl fans about their experiences and thoughts about the old gal. She'll strut her stuff on 12/30 at the annual King Mango Strut, a parade ironically created to protest the finicky Orange Bowl committee's decision 26 years ago to exclude a perfectly legitimate kazoo band. The O Bowl parade is gone, the teams are gone and the stadium can't get no respect. How does that make YOU feel?