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Stadium News - Sort of

The Orange Bowl site for a possible stadium, still hangs in the balance.

Miami city manager Pete Hernandez said Wednesday his ''gut feeling'' is that the University of Miami is inclined to move to Dolphin Stadium, and he told UM this week that it very likely would be permitted to escape its Orange Bowl lease and move there as early as next season if the school wishes.

Several UM officials said they expect the matter will be resolved during an Aug. 21 meeting of the executive committee of the Board of Trustees.

Okay, August 21 is the date.  I'm not counting on it, but it could be so.  And the fact that the city may be willing to release the University from their existing contract, could be good news.

But everything isn't all rosy.

Even though several Hurricanes officials and trustee members expect the Canes to move, several UM officials cautioned that it's far from certain because of the unpredictability of how the trustee members will react at the Aug. 21 meeting.

During the board of trustees meeting June 5, several trustees expressed a preference to remain at the Orange Bowl and told Shalala to continue negotiating with both sides.

One person at the meeting said some trustees want to move to Dolphin Stadium only if it's a perfect deal.

Good luck with that dealing with Huizenga.  Though, if you read the entire article it states that Huizenga is capitulating on some issues.

But that may not be the biggest obstacle.

Mike Mangini gazed at the Orange Bowl, a once-glistening stadium near downtown Miami now replete with a rusting facade, decaying frame and well-worn fixtures.
    "It's a dump," said Mangini, a South Florida hospital worker who has held Miami Hurricanes football season tickets since the 1980s. "But we love this dump."


About 65 fans, including some longtime season-ticket holders, rallied outside the Orange Bowl last Saturday. Another 3,700 people who want Miami to continue playing in the stadium have signed an online petition, some leaving comments directed toward university officials.
    Mangini, who organized the rally, can only hope someone at UM is listening.
    "The Orange Bowl is the signature of Miami," Mangini said. "To have this not here any longer would be a travesty."

Having no idea how much these people give to the UM, so it's hard to say how much leverage they will have.

But let's say that UM will head for what they perceive to be greener pastures, does that help the Marlins in their quest for a baseball only stadium.

Hernandez said if UM moves, the Orange Bowl land would be a ''very good'' option to build a Marlins stadium, even though the Marlins and Major League Baseball prefer a downtown site.

He disputed the notion that UM leaving would free up more money to be used on a Marlins ballpark.

''We have financing irrespective of whether the Hurricanes go or not,'' he said.

I have no idea what that means.  Does it mean that the city is going ahead with the stadium renovations to the Orange Bowl even if UM hits the road and if the Marlins want to tough it out in a different football stadium, they are more than welcome to?  Or does it mean that the site is available to the Marlins if UM leaves, assuming they can get the financing together, but additional funds aren't available?

You tell me.

The Orange Bowl site has never been a favorite of mine, but like most Marlins fans, I'm willing to accept anything.  I would prefer a stadium in downtown Miami but if that isn't possible, incorporating the race track in Hialeah is a close second to me.