Closer stadium not feasible

It has been a persistent complaint ever since the Orange Bowl shut her gates for the last time in 2007. Somehow, someway, Miami needs to get its own on-campus stadium.
Just about every major football program has one on or relatively near its home site; very rarely do teams and fans need to travel 40 minutes outside their comfort zone to be able to support their team.

Over the past few days, an online petition has been passed around trying to garner support for such a stadium somewhere in the southern Miami-Dade area – if not in Coral Gables, than at least somewhere much closer than Sun Life Stadium. In just over 24 hours, the petition was picked up and passed around on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and garnered more than 1,700 virtual signatures.

The idea is, on its own, a righteous one. Miami is a major program and a new stadium might reenergize a fan base that on most days feels lethargic about such a long commute. After losing out on the Orange Bowl, such a stadium could be a new place for new traditions and bring about an outpouring of support that could never be attained at Sun Life Stadium. It would be a great thing to see. But we’ll never see it.

In a city where construction plagues just about every street and highway in sight, I cannot envision any way that the city would willingly agree to put down the funding for such a project. With all the backlash that came about from building the Marlins’ new stadium, which was erected right where the Orange Bowl used to be, most taxpayers won’t exactly be lining up to give up more of their own cash.

But let’s ignore that part. Let’s assume that the city of Miami somehow decides that it is in their best interest to give the Canes a new home, and everyone is behind it. Assuming that hurdle is passed (it won’t be), then there’s the entire issue of location. There’s no space in Coral Gables to build it, and even so, zoning laws here are incredibly strict and would be very complicated.

A popular location that has been mentioned is Tropical Park over in Westchester. This seems to make sense compared to other ideas, but that isn’t saying much. Though it would be easily accessible, it’s in the middle of two major streets right off of some large residential areas. Plus, you’d be asking a large number of youth baseball and soccer teams, among others, to relocate to other areas as well. It’s not a viable spot.

As much as we would all love to see the Canes with their own place to call home, it is something that’s easier to talk about than to actually get done. There’s too much to overcome before even the smallest move toward building it can be accomplished. As unfortunate as it is, Miami is only in the fourth year of a 25-year lease with Sun Life Stadium. The best thing fans can do right now is to continue to try and give the team the support that would be seen at an on-campus stadium. Continue to create as much of a home-field advantage as possible, even if it’s the same stadium shared by that pitiful NFL team that chooses to give recognition to college football teams not from Coral Gables.

October 26, 2011


Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor

14 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Closer stadium not feasible”

  1. At the entrance to the new FAU stadium stands a bronze sculpture of a proud Howard Schnellenberger with a quote: “to BELIEVE is to be strong.”

    There is actually a great spot on campus for the new Orange Bowl…

  2. BT says:

    Tropical Park is feasible. The trick is getting the county to sell the land. UM could devise a master plan to improve the park, replace the existing 10,000 seat stadium with a 50,000 seat U-shape with 100 luxury boxes. (also for multi-event use), build parking structures and tailgate areas. Make vast improvements to the aesthetics of the park and pledge to keep most it open to the public so there is no drop off in public space. If we’re going to build it UM needs to own the land. No more rent BS! Focus people. $200M will do it. let’s start writing checks.

  3. John says:

    I am an outsider to Hurricane Nation but I have always wondered why Miami plays in an NFL stadium. I graduated from UNC but I admire and respect the rich football history of the University of Miami. I’ll be the first to admit that I was excited when the ACC invited Miami into the league. That being said, a program like Miami deserves better. It’s sad to see such an elite program like Miami play in heartless venue like Sun Life Stadium. Nationally televised games with an empty stadium doesn’t bode well for your reputation. I think Miami would be better suited playing in a smaller venue and filling it to capacity. I agree the author of this article has taken a defeatist attitude. Your community and university deserves better. Pressure your university to take action. I am not a resident of Miami so I cannot propose a solution. What I do know is Sun Life Stadium is not the answer. 25 years at that location is not sustainable. Fight the good fight. Im cheering for you guys. We all know a dominate Miami is good for the ACC.

  4. Al says:

    Rob, dont go to Vegas.

  5. Rob says:

    I bet all of the above comments were posted by the same person.

  6. I am the person who started this petition. The purpose behind it is to start the debate and see how many people support the idea. In 2 short days we have received over 2000 signatures with little more than spreading the message amongst a small group on Twitter and Facebook. When I sent the link to the MH twitter account I was hoping that the writer of this report would have posted where to sign the petition instead of flushing it down the toilet like he has above. THIS ARTICLE IS FULL OF FAIL. It is precisely this “can’t do” loser attitude that has caused our football team to regress the past decade. Now we have students at the U with the same loser attitude. I challenge someone at UM to champion this idea and spread the word to sign the petition. IF YOU SUPPORT THIS IDEA the sign the petition! If you don’t so be it but don’t get in our way with your defeatist attitude.


  7. Al says:

    Ernesto you will never make Al Golden’s team, you are full of negativity !!

  8. Carter says:

    Its not feasible, so lets not try,… yea, ok. that makes since. how about we get the ball rolling, so that we can find a location, get the permits, start building, and then be completed by the time our lease with “name change stadium” is near completion. how about that for an option.

  9. Allan says:

    Ernesto, no one is asking the City of Miami to pay for this. Hurricane Nation will gladly do so. All we’re asking UM to do is set up a fund so we know who to write the checks to. All the City of Miami would have to do is sell bonds on the site, which makes everyone money.

    If done right, no one would have to be displaced from Tropical Park. The fields would be improved dramatically.

    We still have 21 years to go on our lease with SLS. Hence the importance of starting this now. It’ll probably take 10 years to secure the funding. If we have to buy out our lease; I can’t imagine a Cane fan out there who wouldn’t agree to that. Then we can tell UF alumni Stephen Ross to stick it where the sun don’t shine.


  10. Zack says:

    Noone is saying it will get built tomorrow, but if we don’t raise our voices now then the administration will think that we’re ok watching these games at Sun Life. I will watch my canes anywhere, even if they decide to play in a local high school field, but letting everyone know that the most popular team in South Florida is getting completely jobbed is important. Hopefully, as time goes by and our voices get louder, the AD and pres will have to take notice.

  11. Tom says:

    Ernesto, you sound like a defeated person. I’m not certain that you deserve the Canes. Buck up, pal. Become a leader, not a follower………Get behind the movement for change and start looking at the POSITIVES and promoting those rather then writing defeatest pieces. Lets go, Ernesto………lets do this. It’s a fight worth fighting, isn’t it?

  12. Chris says:

    Of course you can’t envision it. There are a million things done every day in the business world that folks previously could not envision.

    It’s time for Miami fans to EMPOWER THEMSELVES to make change and start dropping the excuses. Where there is a will, there is a way………..and Miami DESERVES this. UM shouldn’t depend on any local gov for this to happen. UM should TAKE ACTION and stop feeding us lies about feasibility. Give me a break, FIU, FAU, UCF and a number of other small private schools around the country have built stadiums.

    UM seems to be the ONLY SCHOOL IN AMERICA that cannot get it done? I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it and neither should YOU.

    Get behind the movement! Dictate CHANGE!

  13. scott says:

    This is a movement. In any movement you will encounter the negative type who call themselves realist. In reality, they just don’t believe or if they do believe, they don’t have the will and the fight to keep going in the face of opposition. This article is littered with excuses. This article gives the impression that the obstacles involved in this are so unique that there isn’t anywhere else in the country that has had to overcome these circumstances. People keep fighting. Leave the weak behind, but surely they will be right there to enjoy the fruit of your hard work.

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