Orange Bowl renovations to continue, but costs still a concern

Renovations at the Orange Bowl began in August 2006 with the installation of new light towers. Structural renovations are set to begin this summer, but now the City of Miami is saying it may not be able to afford the cost of renovation.

According to an article in Miami Today last December, Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez said it would cost more than double the available $84 million to bring the stadium up to par for University of Miami football fans.

“The city and university are making their most serious effort to restore the Orange Bowl,” Hernandez was quoted as saying in Miami Today. “The problem is, the basic needs may eat most of the $84 million, which people may not see and appreciate.”

Hernandez also said city and university officials will be meeting with consultants from Jones Lang LaSalle to construct a financial game plan for the renovation. The target renovation budget is $120 million.

Paul Dee, UM’s athletic director, told WAXY radio host Joe Rose that the stadium needs suites, club-level seating and new locker rooms.

The Orange Bowl redevelopment initiative is set to add state-of-the-art scoreboards, more seating options, improved concession stands and restroom facilities. Also set to be renovated are areas used by the teams, media and performers.

Once the renovation work fully begins, it will not interfere with the UM football schedule. The Orange Bowl redevelopment web site says that while some areas of the stadium may be closed to fans during the 2008 season, the stadium will be game day ready for the start of the 2009 football season.

Megan Ondrizek may be contacted at