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The Orange Bowl was an outdoor athletic stadium in Miamimarker, Floridamarker, west of downtownmarker in Little Havanamarker. Considered a landmark, it was the home stadium for the Miami Hurricanes college football team. It also hosted the professional Miami Dolphins for their first 21 seasons, until the opening of LandShark Stadiummarker (then called Joe Robbie Stadium) in nearby Miami Gardensmarker in 1987.The stadium was the temporary home of the FIU Golden Panthers while its FIU Stadiummarker underwent expansion during the 2007 season.

The stadium was renamed in 1959 for the Orange Bowl college football game, which was played at the Orange Bowl following every season from 1938-95, moving to Dolphin Stadium in 1996 (except for the January 1999 contest, which, due to a scheduling conflict, was hosted by the Orange Bowl one final time). The minor league Miami Marlins baseball team occasionally played games in the Orange Bowl from 1956-60.

The stadium was on a large block bounded by Northwest 3rd Street (south), Northwest 16th Avenue (west), Northwest 6th Street (north) and Northwest 14th Avenue (east, the open end of the stadium).

The Orange Bowl was demolished in 2008 and will eventually make way for a new 37,000 seat retractable roof baseball stadiummarker of the Florida Marlins in 2012. The team has agreed to change their name to the "Miami Marlins" as part of the agreement between the team, the City of Miamimarker, and Miami-Dade Countymarker.


Miami Orange Bowl, North Gate
The stadium was built by the City of Miami Public Works Department. Construction began in 1936 and was completed in December 1937. The stadium opened for Miami Hurricanes football on December 10, 1937. From 1926 to 1937 the University of Miami played in a stadium near Tamiami Park and also at Moore Park until the Orange Bowl was built.

The Orange Bowl was originally named Burdine Stadium after Roddy Burdine, one of Miami's pioneers. The original stadium consisted of the two sideline lower decks. Seating was added in the endzones in the 1940s, and by the end of the 1950s the stadium was double-decked on the sidelines. In 1966, the AFL expansion Miami Dolphins played their first ever regular season game in the stadium on September 2nd. The west endzone upper deck section was then added in the 1960s, bringing the stadium to its peak capacity of 80,010. In 1977, the permanent seats in the east endzone were removed, and further upgrades brought the stadium to its final capacity and design. The city skyline was visible to the east through the open end, over the modern scoreboard and palm trees. The surface has been natural grass, except for six seasons in the 1970s. PolyTurf, an artificial turf similar to AstroTurf, was installed for the 1970 football season. It was removed and replaced with a type of natural grass known as "Prescription Athletic Turf" after Super Bowl X in January 1976.

Walk-way of the O.B.
Under the leadership of Hall of Famemarker head coach Don Shula, the Miami Dolphins enjoyed a winning record in the Orange Bowl against rival teams in the AFC Eastern Division. Under Shula, the Dolphins were an impressive 57–9–1 (60–10–1 including playoff contests) against the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (15–3), the Boston/NewEngland Patriots (15–1), the Buffalo Bills (16–1) and the New York Jets (13–4–1). The playoff results are: AFC Championship games: (1971, Miami 21, Baltimore 0); (1982, Miami 14, NY Jets 0) and (1985, New England 31, Miami 14) and AFC First Round game (1982 strike shortened season, Miami 28, New England 13).

Farewell to the Orange Bowl event on January 26, 2008
Notable winning streaks during the Shula-era in the Orange Bowl include a 13–0 streak against the Buffalo Bills and a 15–0 streak against the New England Patriots, Also of note, the Miami Dolphins enjoyed a record 31-game home winning streak from 1971-75. This 31-game streak includes four playoff wins and the perfect season of 1972. The Dolphins have not enjoyed the same level of success in Land Shark Stadium. While much of this lack of success in Land Shark Stadium is obviously attributable to a diminished level of talent and organizational stability, it is also widely recognized that the homefield advantage that the Dolphins enjoyed in the Orange Bowl was exponentially greater than in their newer home. This was in great part due to the atmosphere of the Bowl. The closeness of the seats to the field, along with the closed West End Zone, metal bleachers, and steel structure (and of course the team's success and its status as Miami's only professional sports team for so many years), gave the venue one of the loudest and most electric homefield environments in the NFL. Visiting team quarterbacks often complained to referees or were forced to call time out as their teammates could not hear them barking out the signals due to the unbearable noise, especially when the Dolphins were making a goal-line stand in the closed West End Zone. While Land Shark Stadium is much newer and cleaner and is considered one of the top facilities in the NFL, with top-notch amenities, the seats are much farther from the field, and even at its loudest, Land Shark Stadium doesn't come close to comparing to that of the Orange Bowl.

The Orange Bowl was also the site of the NCAA's longest college football winning streak. Between 1985 and 1994, the Miami Hurricanes won 58 straight home games at the Bowl, until ended by the Washington Huskies. The stadium's home field advantage used to include a steel structure that fans would set to rumbling by stomping their feet. Concrete reinforcement had silenced the rumble. There was still the advantage of the West End Zone, which has a relatively narrow radius that amplifies fan noise. The West End Zone was a factor in the Wide Right curse, in which the Florida State Seminoles lost a series of close games due to missed field goals. This section was so raucous that some football announcers often confused it with the student section. In fact, the fans in this section were the working and lower middle class citizens of Miami.

In addition to football, the stadium also hosted concerts and other public events. The stadium had a regular capacity of 74,476 orange seats, and could seat up to 82,000 for concerts and other events where additional seating would have been placed on the playing field.

The last professional football game to be played in the Orange Bowl took place on April 29, 2000 and matched the Miami Tropics vs the San Antonio Matadors of the Spring Football League. The Matadors won 16-13.

University of Miami

The City of Miami embarked on a plan to extensively renovate the stadium. However, those plans fell by the wayside as Miami focused on keeping the Florida Marlins in town, forcing the Hurricanes to threaten a move to Land Shark Stadium in suburban Miami Gardensmarker if a plan to renovate the stadium were not in place within 45 days. Some feared that Miami would permit the college to leave, only to tear down the Orange Bowl and replace it with the new stadium for the Marlins.

That fear became reality as Paul Dee, Athletic Director for the University of Miami, announced that the Hurricanes would be moving to Land Shark Stadium for the 2008 season. Dee and university president Donna Shalala made the announcement during a press conference at the Hecht Athletic Center on August 21, 2007. The University agreed to a 25-year contract to play at then Dolphin Stadium (now Land Shark Stadium). According to Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez, this put the Orange Bowl back in the forefront as a possible site for a new Marlins stadium. The hope that talks would resume soon on that possibility vanished after only a short while.

Many Hurricane fans vocally opposed the decision to move stadium locations and preferred maintaining the Orange Bowl as the Hurricanes' home field, out of concern of Land Shark Stadium's extra distance from campus, the severing of an icon of the Hurricanes' historical successes on the field, and potentially more expensive parking costs.
Final game at the Orange Bowl
Many fans have even stated to various broadcast, print and internet-based media outlets that they will no longer attend the games of Hurricanes football, once the team abandoned the Orange Bowl. Some speculate that the decision to leave the Orange Bowl might have cursed the Miami Hurricanes and would cite the Miami Dolphins as a precedent. Indeed a common explanation for the Miami Hurricanes' poor performance during the 2007 season is that "they've never been the same since they left the Orange Bowl."

Hurricane Wilma

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma caused structural damage to the stadium, which rekindled discussion of tearing down the aging facility. The damage was subsequently repaired.

Final year and demolition

Demolition through April 7, 2008
The Orange Bowl was demolished in May 2008, and the Florida Marlins' new retractable-roof stadiummarker is currently under construction on the site, and targeted to open in April 2012. Despite some protests, the historic stadium had been earmarked for demolition when the University of Miami announced that they were moving out of the Orange Bowl after the 2007 season to begin play at Dolphin Stadium (now Land Shark Stadium) in 2008 in a 25-year deal. On November 10, 2007, the University of Miami Hurricanes lost their final game at the Orange Bowl when the Virginia Cavaliers defeated Miami 48-0 in the Hurricanes worst home shutout loss in school history.
Press Box section demolition.

The FIU Golden Panthers won their last game at the Orange Bowl against the North Texas Mean Green on December 1, 2007 by a score of 38-19, snapping a 23-game losing streak. A high school all-star game, "The O-D All-American Bowl", took place on January 4, 2008 and was the last game before the closing events.

The game featured former Dolphin and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, plus Mark Duper, Mercury Morris, Dwight Stephenson, A.J. Duhe, Don Strock, Jim Kiick, John Offerdahl, Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Melvin Bratton, Brian Blades, Bennie Blades and Eddie Brown.
The NFL's winningest coach Don Shula coached the Dolphin players while Florida Atlantic University and former Hurricanes coach (and former Dolphins assistant) Howard Schnellenberger coached the UM players.The Orange Bowl was open to the public for the last time February 8-10, 2008 when a public auction of stadium artifacts and memorabilia was held. The stadium was stripped and pieces were sold by a company called Mounted Memories. Demolition of the Orange Bowl began on March 3, 2008, and was completed on May 14, 2008. As part of the deal to build the new baseball park, the Florida Marlins have agreed to change their name to the "Miami Marlins."

Stadium events


Super Bowls

The Orange Bowl hosted five Super Bowls:


  • Miami Marlins -- An estimated 57,000 fans, the largest crowd ever for a minor-league baseball game, watched 50-year-old Satchel Paige pitch there for the Marlins on Aug. 7, 1956. The minor league Marlins played some games there between 1956 and 1960.
  • 1990 Caribbean Series - The 1990 Caribbean Series of Baseball was the 20th edition of the second stage of the Caribbean Series. In a botched experiment the series was moved to Miami, FL in the United States. All games were played in the Orange Bowl, which had not been used since 1956. Only about 50,000 fans attended during the seven day Series. The series featured teams from the Dominican Republicmarker, Venezuelamarker, Mexicomarker, and Puerto Rico. The Leones del Escogido of the Dominican League won the series led by manager Felipe Rojas Alou and series MVP Geronimo Berroa.

Popular Boxing bouts

Non-athletic events

  • Monster Jam
  • Enchanted Dreamz Hip-Hop Car Show Bash
  • Drum Corps International World Championships August 1983.




Films - TV


  1. Miami Leaving Orange Bowl; Will Play in Dolphin Stadium,, accessed 21 August 2007
  2. Miami Herald's Eye on the U Blog; Time To Start Saying Goodbye, accessed 30 October 2007 [1]
  3. "Checklist for Failure is all Too Familiar" David Hyde Commentary South Florida Sun-Sential October 3, 2007
  4. Future of Orange Bowl in doubt, BBC Sport, 21 August 2007.
  5. - News and Scores from Sports Illustrated
  6. | Orange Bowl Commemorative Section
  7. BoxRec Boxing Records
  8. [2]

External links

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