Sports

In the know: how to get to Land Shark Stadium

Dolphin Stadium

ARE ‘U’ READY FOR KICKOFF?: The Miami Hurricanes football team will play its first home game of the 2009 season on Thursday, Sept. 17, against a conference foe: the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. DYLAN BROOKS // FIRST IMPRESSION STAFF

On the day of a Hurricanes football game, students may be lathering on body paint, pre-gaming and planning to tailgate, but few want to worry about transportation.

University of Miami students can ride the chartered American Coach buses that leave the BankUnited Center several hours before home games at Land Shark Stadium.

“The buses will depart from UM within a range of times convenient for students starting three hours before game time all the way up to kickoff,” Director of the University Center Dan Westbrook said.

Westbrook explained that UM officials will try to be as “flexible and accommodating” to students as possible.

In order to ride the shuttles, students will be required to obtain stickers from the University Center’s Information Desk located in the lower lounge area. These stickers, which will be placed on students’ ‘Cane Cards before each game, will be distributed a week before most games, but distribution will stop three days prior. This means that students cannot wait until gameday to pick them up.

The Division of Student Affairs released a survey to determine the number of students who would use the transportation.

Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely said the university plans to have 20 buses for low attendance games, and at least 50 for more popular games.

Whitely said the number of buses will not be capped so there can be more buses available for high attendance games such as Oklahoma.

“Freshmen do not have cars,” Whitely said. “Because of that, we’re going to have to have more infrastructure to make sure this is smooth and make sure that it works.”

Students who want to drive to Land Shark Stadium for the games will be able to purchase a special discount season parking pass. The $75 passes will be sold at the Hecht Athletic Center, the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the Whitten University Center, and will allow one student car to park at the stadium (not at any designated lot) for each home game. This discount pass is a great savings compared to the $150 regular parking price for six games, and it’s available only to UM students.

Last season was the first for Hurricane football at Land Shark Stadium, which is also home to the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins. Previously, Miami football played at the historic Orange Bowl for 70 years.

“Riding the shuttles to football games is actually really simple,” junior Michael Spears said. “The buses are continuously coming and going during the game. Riding the shuttle itself isn’t bad. You’re there before you know it, especially with your friends with you.”

For freshmen, the buses were particularly helpful without the benefit of having a car on campus. Sometimes floors even coordinated going together.

“The buses were really comfortable, the line wasn’t as bad as I expected and there were enough buses so that we didn’t have to wait that long,” sophomore Rosa Cubas said. “As a freshman it was great because I met new people and we all got more excited for the game.”

LAND SHARK STADIUM GAMEDAY TIPS

-Go early. Weekday traffic can make a trip take up to an hour or more to get to the stadium, which is about 21 miles away from campus.

-Don’t travel alone. Go with a group of friends and have a good time.

-Take a trip to the bathroom. There are bathrooms on most of the buses, but for some of the big games the bus company has to use buses without all of the amenities.

-Grub it out beforehand. The stadium does not allow any food or drink to be brought in, and the bus company has a rule against food or drink on the bus. “We just remind students as they arrive at the boarding area to finish their food before boarding,” Westbrook said.

-Be careful with your body paint when sitting in the nice seats!

-It’s free to take the bus. “It was nice because I didn’t have to worry about driving or paying for parking,” senior Andrew Green said. “The bus also dropped us off right in front of the student entrance so we didn’t have to walk far either, which was convenient.”

-Christina De Nicola

August 4, 2009

Reporters

Ramon Galiana

News Editor


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