The days of pregame festivities during Metrorail rides to the Orange Bowl are over. This Thursday, chartered buses will bring University of Miami students to the first-ever Hurricanes football game at Dolphin Stadium, and administrators are hoping their new transportation system will be a winning strategy.
Students who need a ride to the first game of the season on Aug. 28, can board “luxurious and comfortable” American Coach buses starting at 3:30 p.m. in front of the BankUnited Center, said Dan Westbrook, director of the University Center.
All Thursday games will leave from the BankUnited Center in order to “reduce congestion in the center of campus on a class day,” Westbrook said. Buses for Saturday games will leave from Stanford Circle.
Westbrook estimates that buses will leave for the stadium every 15 to 20 minutes, and the university will provide “enough buses for every student who needs a ride.” Each bus can seat an average of 50 students and will be monitored by staff from the Dean of Students office, resident assistants or other university staff, he added.
The trip from UM’s Coral Gables campus to Dolphin Stadium takes approximately 42 minutes, according to tests conducted by Westbrook which have been taken into consideration by the university; buses will leave hours in advance to prevent students from being late to games. When The Miami Hurricane took the same route last Thursday, the ride took 50 minutes.
Students will be admitted into the game by presenting a sticker on their Cane Card which, for the first game only, will be available at various locations on campus, including the University Center and in the Residential Colleges.
“We want to make it easy for students to get stickers so they get adjusted to the new process,” Westbrook said.
For every other game, stickers will be available at the UC’s Ticketmaster outlet, located just outside the convenience store near the Information Desk area.
For Freshmen Only
Administrators decided to give freshmen the opportunity to ride a “freshmen only” bus to encourage them to participate in the Freshman Walk, an annual UM tradition that allows new students to take a stroll around the football turf in the midst of a cheering audience of fellow Canes fans.
The freshman buses will leave from the back of the BankUnited Center – the side nearest Hecht Residential College. Resident assistants, who will be monitoring buses, will provide specific time and place boarding instructions. Upon arriving at the stadium, freshmen will be instructed about where to go for the Freshman Walk.
Freshmen may also board the regular buses designated for all UM students.
Dining hall hours extended for first two Thursday games
For the first two Thursday games (Aug. 28 and Nov. 13), the dining halls will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“We want to keep the dining halls open continuously from lunch through dinner to accommodate students going to the football games,” said Mel Tenen, assistant vice president of Dining and Vending Services. Dining hall hours have not yet been determined for Saturday games. “We will possibly adjust the [dining hall] hours based on the time of the Saturday games, but game times haven’t been released to us at this time,” Tenen said.
The following items will not be allowed on to the bus or inside Dolphin Stadium. The rules apply to all Dolphin Stadium guests; not just students, Westbrook said. UM administrators say they will take it seriously if a student disobeys the bus rules.
“There are going to be consequences,” said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs. “If students don’t abide by the rules and regulations of the university and American Coach, the dean of students will follow up and it could result in not being able to use the bus or attend future games.”
- Alcoholic beverages
- Boom boxes
- Coolers, ice chests, picnic baskets
- Inflatable balls, toys or balloons
- Noise makers: horns, whistles, air horns, musical instruments, drums
- Potential projectiles: baseballs, basketballs, footballs, frisbees, fruit
|First game (Thurs., Aug. 28, Charleston Southern, 7:30 p.m.)||Future Thursday games||Future Saturday games|
|Bus pick-up location*||BankUnited Center, starting at 3:30 p.m., every 15-20 min.||BankUnited Center (starting four hours before game time), every 15-20 min.||Stanford Circle (starting four hours before game time), every 15-20 min|
|Dining hall hours||11 a.m. to 9 p.m.||N/A||N/A|
|Where can I get a sticker (admission to game)?||Various locations on campus (the UC, residential colleges, resident assistants)||The UC’s TicketMaster outlet (outside the convenience store near the Information Desk area)||The UC’s TicketMaster outlet|
*For the first game only, freshmen can ride buses designated for “freshmen only,” located at the back of the BankUnited Center, starting at approximately 3:30 p.m. Once at the stadium, students who take the “freshmen only” buses will be instructed about how to participate in the Freshman Walk.