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Orange Bowl

Aerial View
Copyright by Scott B. Smith Photography, Whom We Thank Very Much.

  Venue Resources  
Address 1501 NW Third Street
Miami, FL 33125
Phone (305) 643-7100
Official Website
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  The Facility  
Date Opened December 10, 1937
Date Demolished March 2008
Ownership
(Management)
City of Miami
(City of Miami)
Surface Natural Grass
(1937-69)
PolyTurf
(1970-75)
Prescription Athletic Turf
(1976-2008)
Cost of Construction $340,000
Former Names Burdine Stadium
(1937-1959)
Capacity 74,177
Luxury Suites None
Club Seats None
  Other Facts  
Former Tenants Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)
(1937-2007)
FIU Golden Panthers (NCAA)
(2007)
Miami Tropics (Spring Football League)
(2000)
Miami Seahawks (AAFC)
(1946)
Miami Dolphins (NFL)
(1966-1986)
Orange Bowl Classic (1938-1995, 1999)
Playoff Bowl (1961-1970)
Miami Toros (NASL)
(1972-1976)
Miami Freedom (ASL/APSL)
(1988-1992)
Population Base 4,000,000
On Site Parking 5,000
Nearest Airport Miami International Airport (MIA)

NCAA Championships 1st
1983
2nd
1987
3rd
1989
4th
1991
5th
2001

NFL Championships 1st

VII
1972
2nd

VIII
1973


Sources: Mediaventures

Copyright by Scott B. Smith Photography, Whom We Thank Very Much.

The City of Miami, with a then population of 150,000, entered into a contract on July 30, 1936 for the building of a football stadium. The stadium was completed in mid-1937 at a total cost of $340,000. The stadium initially was named after one of Miami's oldest pioneers, Roddy Burdine, before becoming Orange Bowl Stadium in 1959.

Dedication
December 10, 1937, during the Miami-Georgia football game. The Hurricanes lost, 26-0. The seating capacity was 22,000.

Surface
Prescription Athletic Turf (Natural Grass) Transition from artificial was made in 1977.

Lighting
Metal, halide quick starts.

Press Box
The fifth floor level can accommodate 92 writers plus the scoreboard, public address and statistics crews. Live television and radio broadcast crews are assigned to the third floor. Television and photo news crews have access to the roof of the press box, which is also used for overflow media seating. The fourth and sixth floors are VIP seating and hospitality areas. Use the South Central Plaza, for press will call and entrance to the press box.

Expansion
The original stadium, with a seating capacity of 23,330, soon outgrew itself and in 1944 stands were added to the endzones bring capacity to 35,030. In 1947 a second expansion added an additional 24,548 seats. Following expansions in 1950 (4,974 seats), '53 (2,577) and '55 (9,157) double-decking and construction of the wings were completed. The west end zone was filled in and both the upper and lower deck seats were added, raising capacity to 80,010. The east end zone seats were removed in 1977, reducing the capacity to 75,500. Expansion of the VIP seating and the addition of contour seats in the early 1990s reduced the capacity to 74,712. In 1994, completion of construction designed to improve handicap seating further reduced capacity. Renovations in 1996 to accommodate Olympic soccer reduced capacity to 72,319.

Home to Big Games
The Orange Bowl has hosted five Super Bowls, the most recent on January 21, 1979, when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 35-31, in Super Bowl XIII. Since 1970, when the collegiate national champion was first selected after the completion of the bowl games, the Orange Bowl Classic has hosted 11 games that decided the national title. Until the 1996 season when the OBC moved to Pro Player Stadium, Orange Bowl Stadium hosted eight of the last 13 national championship games, including University of Miami titles in 1983, 1987, and 1991.

Olympic Soccer
From July 20-28, 1996 the Orange Bowl served as a site for Olympic soccer.

Largest All-Time Home Crowd
The largest crowd to witness any event in the Orange Bowl was in 1995 when 81,753 watched Nebraska defeat Miami, 24-17, in the Orange Bowl Classic. Temporary bleachers were added to the east end zone to accommodate the overflow. The largest crowd for a professional football game in the Orange Bowl was 80,187 on January 18, 1976, to see the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17, in Super Bowl X.

PAINTING PROBLEMS
September 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The City of Miami is suing a painting contractor saying a 1993 job on the Orange Bowl was faulty and is now beginning to peel. The painting was done as part of a $15 million renovation of the 64-year-old stadium

Copyright by Scott B. Smith Photography, Whom We Thank Very Much.

The historic Orange Bowl stadium opened December 10th 1937 for the Miami Hurricanes football team. It was built with a seating capacity 74,476. The Orange Bowl has played host to some of the most memorable collegiate and professional football contests in history. It has been a part of 16 National championships - including three University of Miami National Championships – five Super Bowls and the 1972 Miami Dolphins Perfect Season.

The Orange Bowl is also the site of the NCAA’s longest college football winning streak. Between 1985 and 1994, the University of Miami Hurricanes won 58 straight home games. The Miami Dolphins also set an NFL record for most consecutive home games won at the Orange Bowl, 31.

The Orange Bowl Stadium has a rich history as a venue for soccer, as well, including the 1996 Summer Olympics soccer games and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which showcases the finest men’s national teams from North America and South America. Other premier soccer events hosted at the stadium include the Marlboro Soccer Cup and the AC Milan Soccer Game.

The stadium played host to such events as President Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis Speech, and concerts such as the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Prince and many others.

It was the home of the University of Miami Hurricanes for more than 60 years and the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins for more than 20 years, as well. And it was, of course, the site of the annual Orange Bowl game, from which it took its name, for decades.

A sampling of historic Orange Bowl Stadium moments:

The Miami Dolphins’ 1972 Perfect Season – Led by the NFL’s all-time winningest coach, Don Shula, the Miami Dolphins win every home game of the regular and post-season at the Orange Bowl, before proceeding to Super Bowl VII, to defeat the Washington Redskins 14-7 and complete the only perfect season in Pro Football history.

1937 Orange Bowl – In the first Orange Bowl game played in the new stadium that would be renamed for the game and festival, Auburn squared off against Michigan State before a crowd of 19,000.

1963 Orange Bowl – A powerful Alabama squad coached by Bear Bryant and led by quarterback Joe Namath take on Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners, in a game attended by President John F. Kennedy. Alabama’s Lee Roy Jordan sets a major-bowl record with 31 tackles and the Crimson Tide win, 17-0.

1971, ’72 and ’73 Orange Bowls – The early part of the decade sees three games in a row won by the Bob Devaney-coached Nebraska Cornhuskers, including back-to-back National Championships in 1971 and 1972.

1975 Orange Bowl – Notre Dame lets a retiring coach Ara Parseghian go out a winner, defeating Alabama, 13-11, and denying the Crimson Tide a national title in the process.

1984 Orange Bowl – The Miami Hurricanes top the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a 31-30 barn burner to win the National Championship in the 50th anniversary Orange Bowl game played in the stadium.

1991 Orange Bowl – A controversial clipping foul in the waning seconds wipes out an amazing 91-yard punt return for touchdown by Notre Dame’s “Rocket” Ismail, and Colorado wins, 10-9, securing the National Championship for retiring coach Bill McCartney.

1992 Orange Bowl – The Miami Hurricanes, coached by Dennis Erickson, once again square off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and earn the National Championship by shutting out the Tom Osborne-coached ‘Huskers, 22-0.

1996 Orange Bowl – In this, the last Orange Bowl game played in the Orange Bowl Stadium, Florida State tops Notre Dame, 31-26. It’s the end of an era for college football in Florida and draws to a close an always exciting and profitable 60-year association between the Orange Bowl game and the stadium that hosted with so much grace and pageantry.

2007 Miami Hurricanes – The Miami Hurricanes complete their final season in the venerable Orange Bowl Stadium and announce plans to play in Dolphins Stadium in the future.

Super Bowl II – The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) defeat the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League (AFL), 33-14. It is an unprecedented third consecutive World Championship for the Packers and the last game as Packers coach for the legendary Vince Lombardi.

Super Bowl III – The New York Jets of the AFL, led by quarterback Joe Namath who brashly “guarantees” victory, defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts of the NFL, 16-7, in one of the greatest upsets in the history of sport. It legitimizes the AFL in the eyes of fans and leads to the 1970 merger between the two leagues.

Super Bowl V – A field goal as time expires by rookie Jim O'Brian propels the Baltimore Colts to victory over the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13, in the final championship game for Colts quarterback legend, Johnny Unitas.

Super Bowl X – In what is generally considered one of the most exciting Super Bowl games of all time, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17. The game featured numerous future Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Joe Green, Roger Staubach, and Randy White, to name but a few.

Super Bowl XIII – In this rematch of Super Bowl X, the Pittsburgh Steelers once again edged the Dallas Cowboys in a shootout, 35-31. It was Pittsburgh’s third championship of the four they would win over the course of the 1970’s.

Aerial View
Copyright 2004 by Brad Geller and Aerial Views Publishing

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

December 4, 2004 - The Orange Bowl - now this is one stadium steeped in history, both at the collegiate and professional level. Here was the site of five different Super Bowls. Here was the home of the Orange Bowl classic until the event was moved to Pro Player Stadium in 1996. On eleven occasions the college football national title was decided on this field. And although this stadium will never again host a Super Bowl or an Orange Bowl, this stately venue still serves as the home of the University of Miami Hurricanes, one of the elite football programs in the country.

Opened in 1936, Orange Bowl stadium was expanded and modified numerous times throughout the years, bringing the original size of 22,000 seats to its current capacity of just over 72,000. The stadium is horseshoe shaped, with one end zone closed in and the opposite one open. It is the closed end zone where visiting teams have the most problems on the field, as the noise level gets very intense and wreaks havocs with the play calling.

Dare we say it, but this venue almost has the look and feel of a neighborhood ballpark, a la Wrigley and Fenway. Located in a residential neighborhood just northwest of downtown Miami, streets around here are narrow and congested. Parking is very scarce, with just a few small lots around the stadium, and that means that every square foot of open soil - front lawns, gas stations, vacant lots, are sold for parking. A good strategy is to ride the Light Rail to the stadium... exit at the Culmer Station, and from there you can either hop a shuttle bus for a buck or walk the 1/2 mile or so to the stadium.

The neighborhood is awesome! Orange Bowl Stadium isn't situated on the UM campus, but in a heavy Cuban and Hispanic district, so all stores have signage in Spanish first and English second. Tailgaters do their thing wherever they can find room, and plenty of revelers on the streets as well, lots of food vendors, scalpers and a party atmosphere. And the stadium looks massive and imposing - with its trellace steel ramps and walkways, it almost feels like you're in a time warp to the past.

Along the balcony in the seating bowl is a marquee bearing the message "The City of Miami Welcomes You To The Orange Bowl". We mention this because this message has graced the sideline rim for decades, but it looks to us like the sign was recently replaced with a white backed sign which looks gimpy and fake compared to what used to be there. Another sign of note... the 'Canes had a 58 game winning streak in this building spanning many seasons, and this streak is heralded with a sign right near the team's entrance tunnel. Just one scoreboard, in the open end zone, and a color dot matrix board. No video board here, or any other 21st century electronic amenities. For now all is definitely old school.

The game we attended had huge implications - the Virginia Tech Hokies were in town to play the Hurricanes, with the winner getting the ACC conference title, a berth in the Sugar Bowl and a huge BCS payout. Destiny was on the side of the Hurricanes, but their anemic offensive performance, a day when QB Brock Berlin played as if he were in a fog, and some costly turnovers resulted in a Hokies 16-10 win. It was a quiet and subdued crowd leaving the building, but not the visiting VT fans dressed in red, who partied it up in the stands well after the game.

Plans are in the works for a huge renovation and facelift for this venerable old building. And, they are awaiting plans to move forward for a new stadium for the Florida Marlins, which is slated to be built in this area. (Where??? dare we ask!). But our recommendation is to come here and see this place in its current form, for now is when you can see and feel the ghosts - Griese to Warfield, the '72 undefeated Dolphins, Joe Namath promising a win for the Jets in Super Bowl III, the 'Canes winning the national title three time before their jubilant home fans. Just some of the many many great memories that all happened here!

Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl
Copyright by Scott B. Smith Photography, Whom We Thank Very Much.

Miami Hurricanes

Tamiami Park/Moore Park
Tamiami Park/Moore Park
1926-1937
Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl

1937-2007
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium

2008-Present

Miami Dolphins

Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl

1966-1986
Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium

1987-Present


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