The Miami Orange Bowl redevelopment project is currently scheduled for completion by the 2009 football season and estimated to cost about $150 million.
One of the stated goals of the project, which is under the management of Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc., is to restore the Orange Bowl to its former structural prominence. The venue will be able to accommodate Miami Hurricane fans more feasibly and provide a superior game day experience, according to the City of Miami’s Orange Bowl redevelopment website.
The first renovation, completed in early August, involves new light towers and fixtures, as one of the project’s central goals. Plans also include upgrades to seating and concourse areas; restoration of restrooms and concessions; and the addition of state-of-the-art scoreboards.
While most of the work done to the Orange Bowl within the first year of the project will be behind-the-scenes structural developments, the most significant of renovations will take place over the summer of 2008. The affect of the redevelopment during the 2008 football season will be minimal, according to Orange Bowl website, since only the areas under construction will be closed.
The City of Miami’s Orange Bowl, originally built in 1937, has gone through several renovations throughout the years. The planned renovations will focus on the areas of the
stadium that have not been updated since the 1970s.
Repeated attempts by The Miami Hurricane to contact Paul Dee, the director of athletics at UM, were unsuccessful.
For the University of Miami community, the Orange Bowl Redevelopment website says that the Orange Bowl stands for the legacy of the Hurricane football team and its firmly established traditions.
“Going to watch the football games at the Orange Bowl is one of the most exciting experiences at the University of Miami,” Abby Goodson, a sophomore, said. “The stadium definitely needs to be updated so that it can match the quality of our team and its competitors.”
As the renovation project continues, fears of delays in the construction process have surfaced. With the setbacks at the University Village and School of Communication, Engineering and Nursing building projects still fresh in their minds, some students are not holding their breath for the redevelopments to be complete by the scheduled date.
“How can we be sure that this renovation of the Orange Bowl will be on schedule?” Dan Thibodeau, a junior, said. “From what we’ve seen over the past year in this city, I’m very skeptical of construction project deadlines.”
Perhaps the biggest fears for students come with the realization that the Orange Bowl is in an obvious state of disrepair and renovations are necessary, so any setback would provide for disappointment.
“Whatever they need to do to have the bowl game at the Orange Bowl again needs to be done,” Adam Simon, a junior, said. “I would love a JumboTron. Instant replay is the best thing to ever be invented.”
For more information about the Orange Bowl and the redevelopment project, please visit www.miamigov.com/orangebowl
Alexandra Vasquez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org