MIAMI (Reuters) - Miami’s Orange Bowl, one of the country’s most famous sports stadiums, faces an uncertain future after their historic residents, the University of Miami’s football team, voted to leave.
The University’s Board of Trustee’s agreed Tuesday to a plan that will see their football team, the Hurricanes, move to Dolphin Stadium for the 2008 season, a University spokeswoman said.
UM, who have won five national championships, have played at the Orange Bowl since it opened in 1937.
“This is a painful and sad decision. We all love the Orange Bowl, its history and traditions,” University of Miami President Donna E Shalala told the team’s Web site.
“Mayor (Manny) Diaz and the Commissioners of the City of Miami made an extraordinary effort to identify funds and design a renovation. But in the end it wasn’t enough,” she added.
The decision will leave the Orange Bowl, owned by the city of Miami, without a resident team and source of regular income.
The stadium has been home to five NFL Superbowls — the last one was held in 1979.
The venue was also home for the Miami Dolphins until they moved to Dolphin Stadium in 1986.
Although the Orange Bowl is held in great affection by many fans it lacks many of the facilities found at modern stadiums and UM had been pressing for redevelopment for some time.
Dolphin Stadium, which is also used by Major League Baseball team The Florida Marlins, hosted this year’s Superbowl.
“We are committed to providing the best facilities for our student-athletes and fans,” said UM Athletic Director Paul Dee.
“The decision to move to Dolphin Stadium was made for that reason. Our student-athletes will be playing in one of the best facilities in the country and the fan experience’ will be first-class.”