C-A-N-E-S, CANES!: Now that the Orange Bowl has been demolished, the Hurricanes have made Dolphin Stadium their new home.
By Aaron Groff
For the next 25 years, the University of Miami Hurricanes’ football team will call Dolphin Stadium their home. For the first time in over 70 years, the Hurricanes played a home game outside of the legendary Orange Bowl on August 28 defeating the sub-par Charleston Southern team 52-7.
T h e Orange Bowl was a holy m o n u m e n t for Hurricane fans all over the country. Its demolition in May 2008 was a sad moment for the many supporters of the University of Miami.
“The Orange Bowl is the ‘Canes’ home,” said junior Lauren Tighe. “Any other stadium is not the same.”
The feel of the new stadium did not give many of its attendees the same chills that they felt at the Orange Bowl. “The atmosphere was different,” Tighe said, referring to the overwhelming aura of a stadium that now hosts the Dolphins, Marlins, and the Hurricanes.
Also missing was the giant football helmet that used to unleash a thick, white fog as the Hurricanes traditionally entered the Orange Bowl.
Not all fans disapprove of the move. Dolphin Stadiu is an obvious upgrade in terms of facilities, parking, and overall cleanliness. After attending the inaugural game, Coach Judd Hayes, in great favor of the switch, compared the two stadiums as “night and day… It’s like comparing a plush hotel to a Holiday Inn.” Hayes remembers a time when rain water from the drainage pipes would drip onto fans below at the Orange Bowl.
Attendance for the first game in Dolphin Stadium was not quite impressive. Only 48,119 of the 76,500 seats were filled, a disappointing turnout for a game this historic. Just six years ago, in a game against rival Florida State, the Orange Bowl held a crowd almost 10,000 people over its capacity of 73,000.
One reason for the poor attendance at the opener could be that the Orange Bowl, in historic Little Havana, was much more accessible to students at the University of Miami than Dolphin Stadium near the Broward County line. The Orange Bowl was a mere Metrorail ride away from the campus while Dolphin Stadium can take up to an hour to get to dep nding on traffic.
“My grandfather won’t even go to the games anymore because it’s too far,” declared Tighe. Students at the university can travel to games shuttles provided by the school. “The students here are fans, so we’re going to support our school r e g a r d l e s s of how far we have to drive,” said U n i v e r s i t y of Miami student Scott Woolf.
The Hurricanes’ new confines certainly do not live up to the pedigree of the Orange Bowl, with its history of five Super Bowls, the College Football Orange Bowl Classic, and the NFL Pro Bowl. The Hurricanes will have to make their own history in Dolphins Stadium if the fans are to follow.
‘Cane fans may take a long time adjusting to watching their team play in their new Dolphins Stadium home, but if the Hurricanes become a championship contender, they are more likely to give it a chance.