It’s a sad day for Miami; a loss for our sports history, the loss of a national icon, it’s the end of an era. The University of Miami has committed a grave miscalculation today. Giving up the Orange Bowl for the sake of what will ultimately become a pittance in increased revenue will prove catastrophic. You don’t trade in years of tradition on a whim (they don’t come back so quickly either.) I’m not a hurricane, in fact far from it, I’ll be there at Joe Robbie (I’m going back to its original name seeing that Huizenga announced an upcoming name change again) in 2008 cheering on my beloved Gators. But if there is one piece of advice I could extend to the University of Miami, it’s that you should never underestimate the power of tradition and the home-field advantage of a raucous crowd. The stands of Joe Robbie will barely quiver. The 76,500 seat stadium will appear cavernous and the once venerable Miami Hurricane Venue will no longer serve as a source of agony for opponents.

What’s more, with the loss of the UM presence at the Orange Bowl, the venue will no longer serve a useful purpose since its inception in 1936. Already discussions are underway to tear down the legendary stadium and construct a new home for the Marlins. I cannot begin to explain how terrible of a location this would be for such a demanding scheduled sport such as baseball. Conveniently isolated from urban transit and existing downtown parking facilities, the new ballpark would be secluded in a predominantly residential neighborhood. Close enough to entice downtown workers to want to attend games, but just far enough from preventing them from walking down the street or hopping on the Metromover. Plans aren’t even on the drawing boards to bring reliable transit into the area anytime soon and I can imagine any further Miami Streetcar plans would be sabotaged. We’ll be left with a massive new stadium for the Marlins, accessible only by vehicle and surrounded by suburban like structures. Continuing our legacy of urban planning disasters built by politicians with no legitimate foresight…

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9 Responses to Forecast: Hurricanes Downgraded to Tropical Waves

  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be nice if Metrorail were closer to the Orange Bowl, but it’s not THAT far away. It just seems farther because both stations are on the other side of the river, and because the path to the Orange Bowl isn’t visually obvious if you’ve never walked it before. If you measure the actual walking path from either station to the OB’s entrance, I suspect it’s not much further than people who someday take Metrorail to Dolphin Stadium will have to walk.

    That said, I REALLY wish UM were staying at the Orange Bowl. And I suspect Donna is going to have hell to pay over the next few months as she tries justifying it to the alumni. Her REAL crisis will come when she justifies the move by stating for the umpteenth that UM will get $1.5 million/year more by moving, and someone whips out his checkbook, writes her a check for $1,500,000.01, and pledges to give another one every year for the next 20 years if UM stays at the Orange Bowl.

  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    It isn’t that far from the Culmer Station, you’re right. But, Have you walked around the Culmer station, say, around 10 pm when a Marlins’ Game will be ending, not too enticing…I do it regularly in downtown for Heat Games but the vibrant activity of the CBD doesn’t stretch out to Culmer…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well now here is an opportunity to take this run down neighborhood and make it a more livable community. It’s proximity to the River, Downtown, the Civic Center and the Airport makes it a prime location, but that stadium is such a strain on the neighborhood. Maybe now they can make something great of this neighborhood. I’d even like to see a second streetcar line going down NW 3rd St to downtown and the Civic Center. Any ideas. Does anyone know what’s being planned for the neighborhood? Is Marlin’s stadium the only thing planned? I’d really love some choices with what could be done with the area.

  4. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    That’s the problem. There doesn’t seem to be any “planning” going on or any comprehensive plan to change the neighborhood. I’ll check out what Miami 21 has planned for the area, but, it is difficult to rely on two monumental projects such as the streetcar and Miami 21 which are facing such widespread opposition. It seems as if our residents and politicians would rather see thins stay status quo, perpetuating the terrible planning trend.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Miami 21 has only addressed the first quadrant. This is not part of that area.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather see the Marlins move to downtown, preferably the area just west of the Miami Arena/Overtown Metrorail station. The land to the west of is pretty much vacant and is easily accesible to public transit. On top of that it could just serve as a catalyst to improving the Park West area.

    And of course, keep the Orange Bowl, there’s too much history to demolish it. It can serve for smaller games and local high schools teams.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have many great memories of games at the OB. But it is way run down adn I understand the decision that the U made in moving. The main goal now should be to really seriously develop that area and make it a premiere neighborhood for people who live and work near bye. I agree with anon that a light rail line out there that connects to the rest of a transit network as well as making the river an amenity with greenways and riverwalks. The planning department needs to seriously step up and make some real changes. Get economic development to the neighborhood that relies on illegal parking fees an opportunity to make legit money with local businesses.
    Come on city get your stuff together and make some real progress here, and I don’t just mean a new stadium.

  8. Ryan says:

    Yes, this neighborhood is absolutely ripe for positive change. However, we must be careful to achieve a socioeconomic balance and not force out all current residents.

    You are right, though - it’s like the biggest no-brainer ever to put some light rail/streetcar transit through there from downtown. In fact, it’s pretty unfathomable that there isn’t a line from downtown Miami to downtown Coral Gables between Flagler or Calle Ocho, given the: 1) short distance between both major business districts; 2) the fact that it would travel through some of the densest urban neighborhoods in the American South; 3)it would lead to investment in communities that certainly need it; 4) it connects both downtowns and other transit (metrorail’s first line) to arguably Miami’s most historic neighborhoods; 5) lessen dependence on the automobile and auto-centric policies

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ryan you are 100% correct.

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