It was a staple of the University of Miami’s second home for 70 years. Now a reminder of the Orange Bowl should have a permanent home on the Coral Gables campus.
A plan is underway to purchase an orange bleacher from the soon-to-be demolished stadium to keep on display on the Coral Gables campus. Category 5, the student spirit organization for Hurricanes sports, has spearheaded these efforts in collaboration with Student Government.
Miami students Brian Borisman and Ely Fernandez each separately came up with the idea to preserve a piece of the Hurricanes football history. Fernandez, who is the football co-chair for Category 5, pitched the idea to the organization’s executive board at a recent meeting, while Borisman e-mailed Student Government President Danny Carvajal.
Carvajal and Category 5 Chair Tony Golino then contacted Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee with the idea, although they have not yet received a response.
“We’re working together to get this bleacher,” Golino said of the efforts. He added that there is no deadline in place to make the purchase.
“We will proceed as soon as we hear back from administration,” Golino said. He added that Student Government could possibly contact President Donna E. Shalala if they don’t hear back from Dee soon.
“[Shalala] usually responds to e-mails fairly quickly,” he said.
The Orange Bowl bleacher would be purchased in an auction. The purchase price is not currently known, as all memorabilia from the stadium is currently being auctioned off by the city of Miami in preparation for the facility’s eventual demolition at some point this year. The bleacher is the first known artifact from the Orange Bowl that the university is attempting to acquire.
According to Golino, funding for the purchase would likely be covered by a combination of Student Government fundraisers and the President’s Fund. He added that the bleacher would best be kept somewhere where it could be seen yet preserved.
“The Hecht Athletic Center would be best,” he said, citing the large display cases for memorabilia there. “It would be best to keep the bleacher somewhere on campus where it will not be destroyed by weather.”
Some students are in support of this initiative, pointing out that the city of Miami hasn’t exactly given much back from the Orange Bowl to those who made it rock year after year.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Alex Kramer, a sophomore. “[The Orange Bowl is] such an important part of our university’s history. There should have been a way for students to salvage seats, without causing total chaos, of course. It’s a shame they’re just throwing that stuff away.”
“Sounds like a really good idea,” added Aimee Hoover, a sophomore. “It should be displayed in a place where we can see and use it. I’d love to sit on one of those bleachers when I’m studying.”
Dylan Brooks may be contacted at email@example.com.