In commemoration of its 75th anniversary, the Orange Bowl Committee – the group that hosts the post-season game as a way to bring tourism to South Florida – will be contributing $2.5 million to the City of Miami for a new football stadium in Moore Park at 765 NW 36th street.
A seemingly fraught group of young Miami Hurricanes were the hopeless underdogs in a 1933 match against a high-powered Manhattan College during their first appearance in a post-season football game called the “Palm Festival” at Miami’s Moore Park.
Earnie Seiler, the director of recreation for the City of Miami, had ordered a large celebratory cake before the game for Manhattan College’s highly anticipated win over the Hurricanes. Seiler had to hastily call the bakery to change the winner’s name on the cake after a late fourth quarter touchdown made the Hurricanes victorious in a marginal 7-0 win.
The Palm Festival game, through the legacy of the Hurricanes’ win over Manhattan College, established the foundations for the annual FedEx Orange Bowl game.
The city commission unanimously approved the grant and will be matching the committee’s gift by another $2.5 million in renovations and construction to the new site.
The total cost estimate and budget of the project is $5.65 million which includes permits and impact fees and hazardous materials.
“One of the things that is very unique to find is the non-profit partnership with the municipality,” said Larry Wahl, vice president of Media Relations of the Orange Bowl Committee. “It’s a unique alliance. The committee has been around for 75 years and everyone knows us through the football game. But we’ve been a huge supporter of the youth in the community.”
With these funds, a new football stadium with synthetic field turf and running track will be built at the Moore Park site. In addition, over 1,500 aluminum bleacher seats will be added with a press box, electronic scoreboard, field lighting and two concession buildings.
“It could be used for youth football, high school football, the community, walking, running, jogging along the track. There are a variety of purposes,” Wahl said.
The Orange Bowl Committee will be hosting the annual bowl game on Jan. 1 in addition to the FedEx BCS National Championship on January 8.
“The gift is a great step by the Orange Bowl Committee for the City of Miami,” said Kyle Capasso, a senior, supports the proposal. “The gift really helps strengthen the legacy of the Orange Bowl game ands its rich history and Miami origins. Now local kids in the surrounding community can share in their legacy.”
To get to Moore Park from the University of Miami: